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U.S. Marines Arrive To Help Pakistan Flood Survivors

Pakistani flood survivors sit in a U.S. Army helicopter

Pakistani flood survivors sit in a U.S. Army helicopter

A shipload of U.S. Marines and helicopters have arrived to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan.

The "USS Peleliu" arrived off the coast near Karachi along with helicopters and about 1,000 Marines. The United States has pledged $71 million in emergency assistance to Pakistan.

Meanwhile Pakistan's government has been sharply criticized at home for a slow response to the floods, which have killed 1,500 people and left an estimated 7 million people needing emergency assistance, their homes destroyed or damaged.

President Asif Ali Zardari made his first visit to victims of the disaster on August 12 and visited the flood-hit town of Sukkur.

Zardari came under fierce criticism for failing to cut short a visit to Europe last week in order to deal personally with what is now the country's worst humanitarian crisis.

compiled from agency reports