Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN) – Flash floods triggered by torrential rains have devastated large areas in the country’s north-west districts, killing over two dozen and more than 400 houses reportedly destroyed, the United Nations said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Monday that nine people are also missing in the wake of the rains originating from the Karamar Mountains in the Swabi and Mardi districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
In Swabi, up to 80,000 people have been affected by the rains, with local officials declaring a state of emergency in some towns.

The floods have submerged cultivated land, with maize, rice, sugarcane and tobacco crops having been destroyed. Further, livestock has also been washed away and drowned, according to the OCHA.

Farmers in the region typically store six months of wheat in their homes, but those rations have been swept away by flooding.

A UN team is currently on the ground to assess flood-assessed areas, warning of a potential food shortage. Medicine, drinking water and aqua tabs have been identified as priority needs.

UN agencies, along with the Pakistan government and aid organizations, have started providing relief items to affected areas, the UN said.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-18August09-11:06 am (BST)