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Pakistan Prime Minister: Flood Losses 'Colossal'

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani says the flooding is the worst in Pakistan's 63-year history.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani says the loss of human life and infrastructure due to the flooding in Pakistan is "colossal," and he has appealed for international aid.

Gilani made the appeal in a televised national address as disaster management officials said more than 12 million people have been affected and hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces.

In his address, Gilani said it was the worst flooding in Pakistan's 63-year history.

"At this time of crisis, I would like to appeal to the international community to support Pakistan to help alleviate the suffering of the flood-affected people,” Gilani said. “Let me at the same time appreciate the quick response by some members of the international community, who have immediately rushed relief goods and provided other support.”

He added: “I would take this opportunity to appeal to overseas Pakistanis to extend support to the people of their homeland in coping with their losses and suffering."

Officials have said that the nearly two-week-old disaster has washed away entire villages and killed at least 1,600 people.

United Nations officials have said that more than half a million people were being evacuated in the southern Sindh Province.

Officials have warned that further heavy rains could intensify the crisis and complicate efforts to deliver food, medicine and shelter to victims.

compiled from agency reports