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Pakistan cyclone toll rises to 220

Authorities stepped up efforts to provide aid to two million people affected by a cyclone and floods in southern Pakistan.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Quetta
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2007 06:09 PM IST

Authorities stepped up efforts on Tuesday to provide aid to two million people affected by a cyclone and floods in southern Pakistan, as the death toll rose to at least 220.

Military helicopters airdropped more food and other relief supplies in swamped parts of Balochistan and Sindh provinces amid clearer weather and falling water levels.

Baluchistan home secretary Tariq Ayub said that three to seven days of food had been provided to flood-affected people so that in case of more rain no survivors should go hungry.

Ali Gul Kurd, the deputy relief commissioner for Baluchistan, said there were no reports of any disease epidemics despite the large region flooded since Cyclone Yemyin hit the region a week ago.

"We have sufficient supplies of food, medicines, anti-(snake) venom kits and water purification tablets," Kurd said. At least two people have already died of snake bites in the affected region.

Ten civilian medical teams are waiting to fly out as soon as more helicopters are available, but navy and army medical teams had already reached there, Kurd said.

"The area is very large and around two million people are affected, we require more helicopters," he said.

Kurd added that the number of dead in Baluchistan had climbed to at least 120. Ayub said on Monday that another 250 people were missing, including women and children.

National disaster relief chief Farooq Ahmad Khan was quoted by state media as saying that another 100 people have been killed by the floods in neighbouring Sindh province.

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