TURBAT, Pakistan (AP) — Water receded and unseasonably heavy rains eased Thursday in southwestern Pakistan, where rescue workers dug through mud and debris looking for survivors of flash floods that killed at least 300 people.
Another 1,500 people were missing and feared dead, officials in the area said.
Relief efforts have been hampered by bad weather and poor roads. In some of the more remote areas, water still inundated tracks and roads, making them impassable.
Attempts by the Pakistan Air Force to land a supply plane have failed. Hundreds of soldiers were mobilized to help dig through the ruins.
More than 3,700 houses have been destroyed and 8,000 partially damaged, The Associated Press of Pakistan reported, quoting officials in southwestern Baluchistan province.
An estimated 25,000 people have been left homeless, said Ghulam Mohammed Afridi, a local official in Baluchistan. He earlier estimated the number of homeless at 500,000.
However, many of those who lost their homes will be able to quickly reconstruct the sun-baked mud and straw huts once the weather clears.
The full extent of the damage still is not known, particularly in the more remote region, where communications are poor or nonexistent, said Afridi.
Rains that began Sunday turned the usually tame Dasht River into a torrent that roared over hundreds of homes.
A one-room religious school was submerged by high water Tuesday in Marriabad — one of the hardest-hit areas — drowning 35 of 39 pupils, Afridi said.
Barely a house was left standing in the village of 6,000, said Nasir Mohammed, who watched as the flood swept away two dozen members of his family. Only he and his father survived.