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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Pakistan flood toll rises to 240
Pakistani flood victims
Up to two million people are affected by the floods
The death toll from flooding and severe rains that have swept through Pakistan in recent days has risen to some 240, relief officials say.

Another 200 people, mainly in Balochistan, are missing, they add.

The storm and floods have affected two million people in 15 districts of Balochistan province.

Heavy monsoon rain and winds have also lashed five Indian states with at least 40 flood-related deaths in Maharashtra, officials say.

In neighbouring Gujarat state, at least 14 people were killed in flooding. Heavy rains also hit parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states.

Storms have affected large parts of South Asia over the past week, with at least 140 people killed week elsewhere in India.

And in flooded parts of Afghanistan, more than 80 people have died in recent days, while several dozen others were killed in Pakistan's tribal areas along the border.

Relief challenge

Most of the dead in Pakistan are from Balochistan and Sindh province.

Every family is looking for one or two members. They are all missing
Chaker Baloth,
Balochistan resident

The disaster management authority said around 15,000 soldiers have been deployed for relief operations in affected areas.

Many people have been without drinking water or electricity for days in Balochistan. More rains are forecast in the area.

Flash floods have hampered attempts to bring aid to people hit by storms.

"Relief goods are pouring in, but it is a challenge to distribute it in the vast affected area where communication and transportation lines have broken down," Raziq Bugti, spokesman for the Balochistan government told the Associated Press news agency.

Another relief official said more tents were needed to provide shelter for people who had been left homeless by the floods.

Relief commissioner Ali Gul Kurd said hundreds of villages had been inundated, with 90% of crops, cattle and houses destroyed in some areas. He also said that the casualty figures could rise as dozens of people had been reported missing.

Indian floods

Last month, more than 200 people were killed in Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi, as a result of flooding and high winds.

Floods in Gujarat, India
At least 14 people have died in the floods in Gujarat

Meanwhile, parts of India's Gujarat state have also been battling floods.

In Maharashtra, life was slowly returning to normal with rains subsiding and flood waters receding in most villages.

"The rains have just about subsided but this is the beginning of the monsoon season so we will need to continue to be vigilant," Ramesh Kumar, a senior Maharashtra official told the Associated Press.

Water is also receding from the capital city of Bombay where floods had disrupted road, rail and air transport links.

Coastal areas of Maharashtra bore the brunt of the flooding. Amravati district, about 500km (300 miles) north-east of Mumbai was also badly hit, reports said.

And in the eastern city of Calcutta, nine people have died in overnight rains, including six of a family after their home collapsed.

Annual monsoon rains provide a vital source of water in many parts of South Asia, and are vital for its agriculture. Every summer many die in the floods the rain brings.

Submerged villages devastated by flooding

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