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Pakistan flooding death toll reaches 800, more rain to come

By the CNN Wire Staff
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1 million affected by Pakistan floods
  • NEW: Displaced residents are unhappy with government response
  • Monsoon rains predicted to start Monday
  • U.N. says nearly 1 million affected by flooding
  • The death toll in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province hits 800

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The rescue and recovery efforts of the Pakistan floods that have killed more than 800 could become more complicated as weather officials predict more monsoon rains starting Monday.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said Sindh, Punjab, Kashmir, eastern parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and eastern parts of Balochistan would receive monsoon rains. Areas along the Indus River would be badly affected due to extremely high flood conditions.

The death toll from the flooding has risen to at least 800, the information minister of a northern province said Saturday.

The number reflects those killed only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, previously known as the North West Frontier Province, said spokesman Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

Flooding has also been reported in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Twenty-five deaths were recorded there Friday, Hussain said.

Video: Hundreds dead in Pakistan flooding
Video: Death toll rises in Pakistan flooding
  • Natural Disasters
  • Asia
  • Floods

The United Nations says the number of people affected by the floods has risen to nearly 1 million people, with infrastructure receiving major damage.

Rushing water also has washed away thousands of acres of crops, government buildings, businesses, schools, bridges and homes, officials said.

The United States will assist in relief efforts by bringing in 50,000 meals, rescue boats and helicopters, 12 pre-fabricated steel bridges and water filtration units, the embassy in Islamabad said.

According to Geo TV, 150 people are missing in a northwestern province and 3,700 homes were swept away. Forty-seven bridges in Sawat have been destroyed or damaged.

Geo TV also said 3,000 are in a camp in Nowshera and are without enough water and food. Displaced residents are unhappy with the government response, Geo TV said. Trains have also been delayed, frustrating commuters.

"They have made this a joke," a commuter told the network. "There are young children here but there is no water, nor is there any seating, they have taken our ticket money yet after every few minutes they change the train timings. They are playing a game of lies and deceit."

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik visited Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday and found tourists and local residents trapped because of the heavy floods, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

President Asif Ali Zardari said all available resources would be used to help those stranded by the waters, the APP reported.

Many of the victims died when floodwaters swept away hundreds of mud houses in parts of Swat Valley and the districts of Shangla and Tank, according to Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a provincial minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Hussain said flooding has cut off the Swat Valley and the districts of Shangla and Peshawar. There is no way to get to these areas by road, he said.

The Pakistani Air Force has been helping with rescue efforts, spokesman Tariq Yazdanie said in an interview on Pakistani TV. The recent torrential rains have broken all previous records of rainfall in the country, he said.

The United Nations said there is a need for help in providing emergency shelter, food, drinking water and sanitation facilities. Its agencies are geared to help with these issues.

The European Commission is providing 30 million euros ($39 million) to help the people affected by the flooding.

"Pakistan has been hit by terrible floods and more rain is forecast. Our thoughts are with those affected by them," said Kristalina Georgieva, European commissioner for international Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

"I am pleased that our decision to provide new humanitarian funding for the most vulnerable people in Pakistan will also be able to benefit the people, who have suffered from this disaster."

According to a Pentagon official with knowledge of the operations, the U.S. is assisting with the delivery of meals to the affected region. A C-130 carrying 12,000 Halal meals (MREs but tailored for people of Islamic faith) was on its way to Pakistan on Saturday.

By Saturday afternoon another 45,000 meals were to be delivered. Officials promised further assistance efforts in the coming days.

CNN's Reza Sayah and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.