Earthquake Death Toll May Reach 40,000
PAKISTANIS CELEBRATE PULLING A SURVIVOR FROM RUBBLE IN ISLAMABAD,
Pakistani President Musharraf portrays confidence and concern as he calls on the World for Aid.
Kashmiri residents loot food items from collapsed shops, Monday, Oct. 10, 2005, as city is suffering from acute shortage of food, water and medicines after Saturday’s massive earthquake rocked Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir. Shopkeepers clashed with looters Monday and hungry families huddled under tents while waiting for relief supplies after Pakistan’s worst earthquake razed entire villages and buried roads in rubble. Death toll estimates ranged from 20,000 to above 30,000. (AP)
Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan, quoted by the AFP news agency, said children had been the biggest casualties. Many were killed when schools collapsed.
At least 20,000 people are thought to have been killed in Pakistan, with some reports suggesting the toll may double.
Many areas hit by the quake are only just being reached by aid workers.
A road has been re-opened into Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir where 11,000 are thought to have died, allowing trucks to deliver food and medical supplies.
The rescue effort has been slowed by landslides which have wiped out roads and bridges, and a lack of helicopters to ferry in vital heavy lifting equipment.
Correspondents say anger is mounting in communities where significant outside help has yet to arrive, amid fears time is running out to find survivors.
Rescuers were struggling to reach cold and traumatised earthquake survivors cut off in the mountains of northeast Pakistan, as the authorities warned the death toll could reach 40,000. (AFP)
A large C-17 aircraft also flew to Pakistan carrying 12 palettes of food, water and blankets, the US military said, as the relief operation after Saturday’s huge earthquake kicked into gear.
The helicopters, five large Chinooks and three smaller Black Hawks, would deliver aid, transport personnel and airlift survivors, a US military spokesman said on Sunday.
The twin-rotor Chinooks were useful for “lifting support” as they were able to pick up several people at once and carry tonnes of aid, he said.
“The Black Hawks are smaller, they have more manoeuvrability, are quicker transport and efficient,” useful in rescue operations, he said.
A Chinese worker prepares relief goods bound for Pakistan Beijing, Monday, Oct 10, 2005. China flew a 49-member rescue team and promised more than six million U.S. dollars in aid for Pakistan, a long standing ally, local media reported. (AP)
Doctors, helicopters, food, tents and sniffer dogs were rushed to quake-devastated Pakistan on Monday as the death toll from the disaster topped 20,000.
Aid agencies said more than 120,000 people were in urgent need of shelter and up to four million could be left homeless by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake which wrecked buildings and villages in Pakistan’s northern mountains.
The quake, South Asia’s strongest for 100 years, also killed almost 700 in India.