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Archive for Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Death toll climbs in Asia flooding

August 10, 2010

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— Rescuers in three countries across Asia struggled today to reach survivors from massive flooding that has afflicted millions of people, as the death toll climbed in a remote Chinese town where hundreds died and more than 1,100 were missing from landslides.

In Pakistan, the United Nations said the government’s estimate of 13.8 million people affected by the country’s worst-ever floods exceeded the combined total of three recent megadisasters — the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Rescuers in mountainous Indian-controlled Kashmir raced to save dozens of stranded foreign trekkers and find 500 people still missing in flash floods that have killed 140.

In China, the death toll jumped to 337 late Monday after Sunday’s landslides in the northwestern province of Gansu — the deadliest incident so far in the country’s worst flooding in a decade. A debris-blocked swollen river burst, swamping entire mountain villages in the county seat of Zhouqu and ripping homes from their foundations.

The government said 1,148 were missing. About 45,000 were evacuated. It was not known how many of the missing were in danger or simply out of contact as workers rushed to restore communications in the area, where one-third of residents are ethnic Tibetan.

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