Over 500 Killed in Pakistan Floods, Avalanches

A week of torrential rain and heavy snow in Pakistan (search) has left more than 500 people dead, including dozens buried under avalanches and more killed when a dam burst, an official said Tuesday.

Snow and landslides blocked roads to hard-hit areas and hampered relief efforts in Pakistan's northwest, where 260 people were killed, Relief Commissioner Ghulam Farooq (search) said.

Storms have destroyed 2,400 homes, damaged 3,700 more and killed hundreds of livestock. The provincial government has released $1 million for district authorities to buy relief supplies.

Meanwhile, relief efforts continued in southwestern Baluchistan (search) province, where thousands of troops have been mobilized to help displaced villagers, and the United Nations has pledged $100,000 for food, shelter and safe water.

Authorities in Baluchistan's capital, Quetta, have reported about 200 flooding and snow deaths across the province, including dozens killed when a dam burst. Up to 1,500 more people are missing.

Another 56 people have died in the Pakistan-held portion of the Himalayan region of Kashmir, most of them buried by avalanches.

Central government officials, including President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, have questioned the number of dead, saying fatalities have been exaggerated, particularly in Baluchistan.