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Rescuers save 50,000 as floods hit south Pakistan

September 20, 2014

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s disaster management agency said Saturday that rescuers with boats and helicopters had evacuated about 50,000 people from the country’s south after raging floods inundated more villages there.

In a statement, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency said about two dozen people were killed in the past 24 hours in the eastern Punjab province, raising the death toll from rains and flooding to 346.

It said flood waters wreaked havoc in Punjab province and were now passing through remote areas in the southern Sindh province, but so far no deaths had been reported there. Pictures from Pakistani news channels showed submerged villages and people living in tents and in open areas.

Medical staff in the flood-hit areas has so far treated more than 300,000 patients, it said.

Pakistani authorities are currently busy in what is one of the country’s biggest relief and rescue operations in recent years.

They are using 19 army helicopters and hundreds of boats to transport people to safer places.

The floods have affected 1.7 million Pakistanis apart from damaging standing crops in vast areas.

Pakistani officials say they are still trying to assess the extent of damages caused by floods and rains to schools and other infrastructure.

Floods have also killed 200 people in the India-controlled part of Kashmir since Sept. 3 when monsoon rains triggered flash floods in the Himalayan region. Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and neighboring India.

Floodwater has receded in Indian-controlled Kashmir, but a relief operation is still going on there.

Update hourly