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Sudan says 87 people have died from flooding

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August 20, 2007(KHARTOUM) — The death toll from serious flooding in Sudan has risen to 87 people, government officials said Monday, as the European Commission announced it had distributed EUR2 million to those affected by the disaster.

News of rising casualties came as heavy rains continued to fall on the capital, Khartoum, where hundreds of stranded cars and trucks littered the flooded streets.

"More than 69,965 families have been affected in the various states of the country, while 87 people have been killed and 192 injured," Gen. Awad Widaa Allah Hussein, head of the Emergency Commission for the Alleviation of the Effects of Floods and Rains, was quoted as saying by the official SUNA news agency. His previous death toll at the end of July was 62 people.

Hussein also said 68,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged and 675 animals killed by the unnaturally heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office said in a statement it had distributed assistance to almost 400,000 flood victims.

"Many have lost all their belongings and will need assistance to restart their lives and resume some economic activities," said Alvaro Ortega, ECHO’s humanitarian adviser in Sudan.

"Concerns remain over flood-related diseases and the availability of food for affected people," Ortega added. "Cases of malaria, which is the number one killer in Africa and common in Sudan, are on the rise and expected to reach epidemic levels in flooded areas."

ECHO said intense rains in Ethiopia and Uganda, which feed Sudanese rivers, coupled with heavy downpours in Sudan have raised water levels well above normal, causing the worst flooding in the country since 1998. Nearly 100 people have died and more than a million could eventually be affected by the flooding, the organization estimated.

(AP)

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