Floodwaters run through Mingora town in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, 30 July 2010. AP / ITN


PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Boats and helicopters struggled to reach hundreds of thousands of villagers cut off by floods in northwest Pakistan on Friday as the government said 430 people had been killed in the deadliest such disaster to hit the region since 1929. …

Three days of heavy monsoonal rains across the northwest caused scores of rivers to burst their banks, tearing down 60 bridges and scores of roads and buildings. Hundreds of villages and towns, along with massive swaths of agricultural land, were under several feet of water.

Associated Press Television News footage showed a powerful torrent running through the center of Mingora town in the Swat Valley, carrying debris and trees with it. Hundreds of residents trudged through flooded streets as rescue officials used loudspeakers to urge them to evacuate homes in low-lying areas.

An AP reporter traveled in an army helicopter dropping tents and food supplies to stricken communities in the northwest. He flew over around 150 villagers that were inundated close to the border with South Waziristan. The three major roads in the region were all blocked. …

Nadeem Ahmed, who heads the country's National Disaster Management Authority, said 21 army helicopters and 150 boats were being used to reach affected communities and move them away from the floods. Hussain estimated 400,000 people were still stranded.

More rains were expected in coming days, according to Pakistan's meteorological department.

Hussain said at least 408 people had been killed, making it the deadliest flooding in the region since 1929. In Pakistani-controlled Kashmir further to the west, at least 22 people were confirmed dead as of Thursday evening, the area's prime minister, Sardar Attique Khan, told reporters. …

Floods ravage NW Pakistan, kill 430 people



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