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Floods inundate large Pakistan town

Floodwaters inundated a large town in southern Pakistan on Sunday as authorities struggled to build new levees with clay and stone to prevent one of the area's biggest cities from suffering the same fate.

world Updated: Aug 30, 2010 02:28 IST

Floodwaters inundated a large town in southern Pakistan on Sunday as authorities struggled to build new levees with clay and stone to prevent one of the area's biggest cities from suffering the same fate.

Almost all of Sujawal's 250,000 residents fled the town before the water rushed in, but the damage to homes, clinics and schools added to the widespread devastation the floods have caused across Pakistan, said Hadi Baksh, a disaster management official in southern Sindh province.

The floodwaters also threatened Thatta, a historic city of some 350,000 people who have mostly fled to higher ground. Thatta is the base of operations for local authorities trying to cope with a disaster that has overwhelmed the Pakistani government and international partners who have stepped in to help.

Authorities rushed to build makeshift levees across the road connecting Sujawal and Thatta, parts of which were already flooded, Baksh said.

"We are trying to plug the bridges at three different points to stop the water flow toward Thatta," said Baksh. "We are trying all our best efforts."

The floods began in the mountainous northwest about a month ago with the onset of monsoon rains and have moved slowly down the country toward the coast in the south, inundating vast swaths of prime agricultural land and damaging or destroying more than 1 million homes.