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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 February, 2005, 08:12 GMT
Rains hamper Pakistan dam rescue
Villagers survey the damage to a road look, caused by torrential rains in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir on Friday.
Torrential rains have caused damage across Pakistan
Heavy rain is hampering rescue efforts following a dam burst in Pakistan that has affected more than 30,000 people.

More than 1,000 people have been airlifted to safety but more remain stranded on roofs, and on high ground near Pasni in Balochistan province.

"Coast guards have so far pulled out 80 bodies..., while 400 are missing," minister Sher Jan Baluch said.

Across the country, 50 more people have died in mudslides and house collapses caused by two weeks of rain and snow.

Questions asked

Rescue teams are also bringing emergency aid, dry food, medicine and tents to survivors near Pasni.

Officials in Balochistan said five villages were swept away when rains breached the Shadikor dam near Pasni, 650km (400 miles) from the provincial capital, Quetta.

About 3,000 personnel from the army, navy, coastguard and civil emergency organisations have been called in for the rescue operation, amid fears the casualty figures could rise.

Helicopters delivering food, medicine and tents have been dropping supplies from the air in places where they cannot land.

Continuing rain has compounded the misery and made the operation more difficult.

Power and telephone lines as well as roads were also damaged.

Officials say hundreds of people are still unaccounted for, many of them feared dead.

Some of the dead were travelling along the main southern coastal highway and were swept into the Arabian Sea when the floodwaters struck.

More rain expected

Some cars, trucks and buses were swept into the Arabian Sea by the flood water as they drove along a newly built highway in the Pasni region.

The rains have also washed away several bridges and part of a main road linking Pakistan's southern coast to the main cities.

Already questions are being asked about how a dam completed just two years ago and built to capture water for irrigation in a normally parched province could have failed with such devastating consequences, says the BBC's Paul Anderson in Islamabad.

Meteorological experts said some parts of Pakistan had received the heaviest rain and snow in seven years.

Heavy rain is expected to continue for at least the next two days.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Rescuers struggle to reach stranded people



SEE ALSO:
Pakistan dam-burst deaths hit 60
11 Feb 05 |  South Asia
Bad weather kills 17 in Pakistan
10 Feb 05 |  South Asia
PM leads Pakistan flood rescue
31 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Toll rises in Pakistan floods
29 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Flood waters cause havoc
01 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Pakistan floods leave many dead
18 Feb 03 |  South Asia


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