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More than 1,000 die in Southeast Asia floods
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) Nov 10, 2011

At least one thousand people have died in massive floods across Southeast Asia in recent months, according to an AFP tally on Thursday, and millions of homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.

The death toll in Thailand -- grappling with its worst floods in half a century -- has reached 533, the government said, and the slowly advancing waters are now threatening the heart of Bangkok, a city of 12 million people.

In neighbouring Cambodia, the most severe floods in over a decade have killed 248 people, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest flood report.

Vietnam's government has reported at least 100 deaths, including many children, in southern and central parts of the country.

At least 106 people died in flash floods caused by heavy storms in central Myanmar in late October, a government official in the military-dominated country told AFP at the time, on condition of anonymity.

In the tiny nation of Laos, 30 people lost their lives in the floods, according to OCHA.

The UN body, which does not include Myanmar in its flood updates, also reported 98 deaths in the Philippines.

Vast swathes of rice paddy fields have been damaged or destroyed in Southeast Asia as a result of the inundations triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains that began some three months ago.

"To date, nearly nine million people have been affected by torrential rains and overflowing rivers," OCHA said in the statement.

"Flooding in many parts of Southeast Asia remains dire after months of being inundated, and more rains are expected in north and northeast Thailand."

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Climate change to bring more floods: World Bank
Hanoi (AFP) Nov 10, 2011 - Climate change will bring more floods and extreme weather to Southeast Asia, a World Bank official said Thursday on a visit to the region, where hundreds have died in severe inundation.

"What we are seeing is there are more floods, more extreme weather events, higher temperature, more variable rainfalls and we believe that is caused by climate change. And we should expect this to increase, sadly," Andrew Steer, the World Bank's special envoy for climate change, told reporters in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Thailand's worst floods in half a century have killed 533 people and damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions around the country.

In neighbouring Cambodia, the deadliest floods since 2000 have killed at least 247 people while more than 100 have died in Vietnam, mostly in the southern Mekong Delta.

Steer, who cancelled plans to visit Thailand on his regional tour because of the disaster, said the floods there were "consistent with what we know to be true about climate change."

The United Nations says climate change, fuelled by hydrocarbon-based energy systems, is the world's most pressing environmental issue.


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Aid groups warn over Pakistan flood fund
Islamabad (AFP) Nov 9, 2011
Aid groups warned on Wednesday that vital relief efforts for five million people affected by floods in Pakistan's fertile southern belt could be cut back because of a shortfall in foreign donations. Supplies of clean water, sanitation, food, shelter and healthcare are all under severe threat and impoverished farmers in waterlogged Sindh face losing yet another winter crop, just as the cold w ... read more

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