1,100 missing in China amid widespread Asia floods

Aug 9th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

Thousands of Pakistanis in the neighboring districts of Shikarpur and Sukkur camped out on roads, bridges and railway tracks — any dry ground they could find.

“I have no utensils. I have no food for my children. I have no money,” said Hora Mai, 40, sitting on a rain-soaked road in Sukkur along with hundreds of other people. “We were able to escape the floodwaters, but hunger may kill us.”

A senior government official in Sukkur, Inamullah Dhareejo, said authorities were working to set up relief camps.

But an Associated Press reporter who traveled widely through the worst-hit areas in Sindh over the past three days saw no sign of relief camps or government assistance.

Meanwhile, the death toll from flash floods in the remote desert mountainsides in Indian-controlled Kashmir rose to 140 with the recovery of eight more bodies overnight, police said Monday. The dead included five foreigners, but their nationalities were not immediately known. An estimated 500 more people were missing.

Further east, thousands of army, police and paramilitary soldiers continued clearing roads to reach isolated villages in the Ladakh region cut off by Friday’s powerful thunderstorms.

By late afternoon on Monday, the roads leading to the worst affected village, Choglamsar, had been cleared and rescue teams looked for survivors among the flattened buildings, army spokesman Lt. Col. J.S. Brar said.

On Monday, Indian air force helicopters evacuated 80 stranded foreign tourists from Zanaskar, a popular trekking area. Those rescued included British, French, Dutch and Germans, an army statement said.

At least 33 of the missing include Indian army soldiers from a remote base who may have been washed into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in the fast flowing Indus river, said Brig. S. Chawla, a senior official in Indian Kashmir.

He said Indian officials had informed their Pakistani counterparts to help verify those reports.

In North Korea, some 10,000 people were sheltering in public buildings in the border city of Sinuiju near China due to flooding, the Red Cross said Monday. Flash floods destroyed thousands of homes across the impoverished country, and the Amnok River had recorded its highest water level in 15 years, Red Cross said.

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Associated Press writers Ashraf Khan in Sukkur, Pakistan, Aijaz Hussain in Indian-controlled Kashmir and Jean H. Lee in Seoul contributed to this report.

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