Pakistan's flood victims endangered by outbreak of epidemic diseases

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The life of millions of Pakistan 's flood victims are endangered due to the outbreak of epidemic diseases resulted from the worst floods in the country's history.

At least 29 people were killed due to gastroenteritis disease overnight on Tuesday and 50 others were in critical condition as thousands of affected people were hospitalized across the country, local media reported, citing hospital and official sources.

On Monday, the waterborne gastroenteritis killed 15 people as the epidemic is spreading faster through contaminated flood water, affecting mostly children women and old people.

The United Nations fears 3.5 million children would be affected by various waterborne diseases in Pakistan, while the International Red Cross has indicated a new challenge posing life threat due to the outflow of unexploded explosive material from landmines and other ammunition, particularly in insurgency plagued tribal areas and Kashmir where military operations are in progress.

A spokesman of Pakistani military has said troops have been directed to take preventive measures as the explosive has flown into cities with the floods water.

Over two weeks of heavy rains and floods have so far killed 1, 600 people, displaced 20 million people and destroyed some 900,000 homes across the country, official sources said.

Pakistani Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told a news conference in the capital city on Monday that registration of flood affected people is in progress. The rescue operations would be accomplished by the end of October whereas damage estimation would be done by Nov. 30. The U.N. believes that the rehabilitation and reconstruction would take at least five years.

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