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Flash Floods Kill Hundreds In Algeria - 2001-11-13

Algeria's worst flash floods in four decades have killed nearly 600 people, mainly in the capital of Algiers. Humanitarian aid agencies are issuing emergency appeals for help.

The World Meteorological Organization said more heavy rain is expected Wednesday in Algeria.

The spokeswoman for the organization, Mo Lagarde, said the rains could threaten rescue and relief operations. "The north of the country will remain a danger zone for the next three-days, with regard to further flash floods expected. Rainfall is expected to continue in the next couple of days for the Algiers region," she said.

Another U.N. organization, the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Algeria has asked for winterized tents, medicine, and water purification equipment to help flood victims.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has issued an appeal for funds for Algeria.

Spokeswoman Jemini Pandya said the ICRC wants to raise more than one million dollars to provide essential relief items to 24,000 Algerians left homeless.

"The Algerian Red Crescent has already done some preliminary assessments. Based on that, we have launched this appeal for one-point-two-million-dollars for things like shelter, camp beds, food, basic health care, and water purification tablets so that we can minimize the risk of water borne diseases," she said.

The ICRC said it has sent a team to Algeria to help in the relief effort.