800+ die in Pakistan flood waters

Islamabad, Pakistan (ABC NEWS) -- The death toll from flooding in Pakistan 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.

The United Nations says the number of people affected by the floods has risen to nearly a 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.

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 floodwater 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.