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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 5 December, 2019

#Humanitarian

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THE DEATH TOLL as a result of the Pakistani flooding has passed 900, as the monsoon rains continue and rescue workers struggle to access the victims.

Up to a million people have been affected by the extreme weather which has caused what is fast becoming one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in recent history.

A westerly weather system coming from neighbouring Afghanistan, combined with some heavy monsoon rains, has caused some of the words floods on record in the country, with the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province the worst hit.

Dozens more have been killed in Afghanistan itself.

The main highway into the country from China has been completely cut off, hampering humanitarian efforts from what would otherwise have been a major source of aid.

A Pakistani army spokesman said the level of devastation “is so widespread, so large, it is quite possible that in many areas there are damages, there are deaths which may not have been reported.”

Locals have criticised the government’s response to the flooding with some people telling the Associated Press the government have refused to help locate missing relatives.

Army officials fear that the large-scale infrastructural damage caused by the extreme weather – which could yet continue for more days – means that efforts to rescue thousands more who are stranded could be critically delated.

The towns of Kohistan and Nowshera are completely submerged, while a famous tourist valley of Swat has seen every single bridge washed away leaving its residents struggling, literally, to stay afloat.

The Pakistani meteorological authorities have predicted even more rain in the coming days, with floods expected to swamp the southern province of Sindh where the bulk of the country’s agricultural industry is based.