2 Aug 2010

Pakistan flood death toll rises to 900

5:22 am on 2 August 2010

The main motorway south from flood-hit north-west Pakistan has partially reopened, raising the prospect of relief for thousands of people still waiting for help.

The BBC reports it is unclear which sections of the road to Islamabad are open to traffic, but vehicles are now moving on some stretches.

At least 900 people have died in the worst monsoon floods in living memory.

A new monsoon system is forecast to hit the region in the next 24 hours.

For days the main motorway between Peshawar and the capital Islamabad had been clogged with cars and lorries waiting to move.

The country's main north-south route had been closed because of heavy flooding and collapsed bridges.

There have been reports that the flood water is receding in some areas. However officials fear that the situation could get worse with more rain forecast across the country.

The Pakistani government says 19,000 people in the worst-hit areas have been rescued by 30,000 troops.

As well as hundreds of deaths in Pakistan, at least 60 people have died across the border in Afghanistan, where floods affected four provinces.