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Pakistan warns floods could affect millions
by Staff Writers
Islamabad (AFP) June 15, 2011

Pakistan warned Wednesday that floods triggered by monsoon rains could affect millions more people this year, but claimed it was better prepared after a massive humanitarian crisis in 2010.

Last year, monsoon-triggered floods affected up to 21 million people and killed an estimated 1,750 people, causing an estimated $10 billion in losses and hammering the already depressed economy.

"There is a very little chance of flooding at the scale of last year and not more than two million people are likely to be affected by floods this year," said Zafar Qadir, the head of the national disaster management authority.

Last year's floods were the worst in Pakistani history.

"Even if there is flooding like last year, not more than six million people will be affected and we are prepared for that," Qadir said.

Qadir said normal annual rain fall in Pakistan is 137.5 millimetres and that this year a 10 percent decline is forecast, except in northern regions where a 10 percent increase is likely.

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