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Mon 27 Oct 2008 06:48 AM

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$100mn pledged to help Yemen flood victims

President allocates funding to flood-hit areas as death toll rises to more than 70.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has allocated $100 million in aid to flood-hit areas of southeast Yemen as the death toll from last week's storms topped 70."The president ordered 20 billion rials to be added to the general budget for the reconstruction of Hadramaut and Mahara provinces," the government said.

A relief team rescued two children alive from rubble of a house at Tarim but uncovered 10 bodies of people from the same family who had all died in the floods of Thursday and Friday, an official in Hadramaut province told AFP.

These victims take to 68 the number of deaths caused by the high waters, while another six were struck by lightning during the storms that brought the torrential rain.

Many other people are still missing and thousands are without shelter, the official said.

Rescue teams, chiefly using military helicopters, are continuing operations to help people affected by the flood, especially in isolated villages.

Saleh said on Saturday that at least 1,700 homes were destroyed or badly damaged as the waters rose while roads and the electricity network were seriously affected.

People who are still cut off are lacking food and drinking water, he said.

Yemen has started to receive help from neighbouring countries. Following a promise of aid from the United Arab Emirates, Oman announced on Sunday the dispatch by air of tents and food.

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