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Pakistan earthquake


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Pakistan earthquake death toll rises

 

It is now believed that up to 40,000 people may have died in Pakistan in Saturday's earthquake. With vast numbers of children killed in the nation's worst ever natural disaster.

 

A Pakistani general has spoken of a lost generation. Muzaffarabad is the city closest to the epicentre of the 7.6 magnitude quake - the strongest in South Asia for a century. A once-pretty river town, it is now a scene of utter devastation with virtually every building destroyed or damaged. Hurt and hungry, those who escaped with their lives are huddling under makeshift tents waiting for relief supplies. Many complain about the slow response of the emergency services.

 

Yet in the midst of so much misery, miracles can happen. While the worst-hit areas are Pakistani-run Kashmir and North-West Frontier Province, lives were also lost in the capital Islamabad. Here however there were celebrations as a dazed survivor was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building after 36 hours.

 

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Earthquake disaster zone proves difficult to reach

 

In the wake of Saturday's devastating earthquake, Indian troops have moved into the nation's disaster zone, where hundreds have died and thousands more are homeless. Survivors in Indian Kashmir like those over the border in Pakistan are in dire need of aid. But the mountainous area is difficult to reach, with roads blocked by rockfalls and mudslides and despite increasing international help, getting it to those who most need is a huge problem.

 

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has appealed for foreign aid to supply tents, blankets, medicines and transport aircraft. The US military in neighbouring Afghanistan says it is diverting eight helicopters being used in the war against Islamic militants to assist with emergency operations. The United Nations says children make up half the population of the quake-affected areas and will be particularly vulnerable to hunger, cold, illness and trauma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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