◎Rescue crews still finding survivors buried under debris◎

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 Posted: 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)

【ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Frustration is mounting in Pakistan and India

over the pace of relief efforts in the earthquake zone with many remote regions

still not accessible after Saturday's tremor struck.】



The 7.6-magnitude earthquake was felt across northern Pakistan and the disputed

region of Kashmir, as well as parts of India and Afghanistan.


The death toll has topped 30,000 in Pakistan alone, with another 999 dead in

India and one reported death in Afghanistan.


But officials in both countries are defensive of relief efforts, saying blocked

roads and a lack of helicopters have prevented rescue teams reaching far-flung

areas.



Pakistani presidential spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told CNN some areas

had been "virtually impossible to reach" via land routes.


"Convoys are now moving during night as well as during the day to reach the area.

The scale of the rescue is now going to be much more than what we could manage

through the helicopters only," he said.



Meanwhile, thousands of people in the Indian-controlled portion Kashmir complained

they had run out of food and water following the quake, The Associated Press

reports.


India's Home Secretary V.K. Duggal said Monday that relief has been sent to most

areas, but some remote communities have not yet been covered.


"As road accessibility improves, we hope to reach these villages by tomorrow

(Tuesday). There may be some more casualties but not too many more," Duggal

told a media conference in New Delhi.


"Even as relief work has reached most areas, certain patches in Uri, Kupwara

and Baramulla are yet to be reached as the populace is scattered," he said.


Reporting from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, CNN's Andrew Stevens said

there was a "lot of anger" over the relief effort.


"There is a general feeling more needs to be done," Stevens said.


He said the government was defending its efforts, saying it did not have the

resources to cope with the sheer scale of the disaster, being particularly

hampered by a lack of helicopters.


Rescuers, meanwhile, were still finding survivors in the wreckage of an

11-story apartment building in an upscale district of Islamabad late Monday.


Pakistani troops and a British search team pulled a 2-year-old girl from the

rubble alive Monday night, followed by her mother. Both were taken to

hospitals for evaluation after spending two days buried in the collapse,

authorities on the scene told CNN.


Another adult was found alive earlier Monday in the building as the slow,

methodical search went on, bringing the number of survivors rescued there

to 25. Rescue workers erupted into cheers when they were able to bring out

survivors.


But search teams also found 35 bodies in the rubble.

Andrew MacLeod, a U.N. disaster relief official in northern Pakistan, said

another 11 people were rescued from collapsed schools in the hard-hit region.


"Within this tragedy, we've had 11 examples of very, very good news today,"

MacLeod said.


Government, police and hospital officials estimated Pakistan's death toll at

30,000 but said that number was sure to rise.


Faiza Janmohammad, country director of Mercy Corps, said Pakistan's death toll

was about 40,000, but the source of her information was not clear.


Islamic Relief spokesman Waseem Yaqhoob told CNN he thought the deaths would

reach "80,000, maybe more."


"This could get very close to tsunami levels," he said. "It's horrific. It

really is terrible."


Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told CNN's "Late Edition" on Sunday that

another 43,000 people were injured. Regarding the casualty figures, he said,

"They will certainly go up."


The epicenter of the quake was in Muzaffarabad, the capital of

Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which sits in the Himalayan foothills 60 miles

(96 kilometers) northeast of Islamabad.


The Pakistani army hospital in Muzaffarabad was heavily damaged, and mass

burials were held Monday.


There also are reports of looting in Muzaffarabad.

"They've lost everything. They have no clothes, no food, nothing," resident

Asim Butt told Reuters. "People have started looting things from shops."


Also badly hit was Pakistan's North-West Frontier province, where many

villages were leveled and roads destroyed, making travel all but impossible.


CNN's Matthew Chance, reporting Monday from the city of Balakot in the

North-West Frontier province, described a "scene of utter devastation,"

saying nearly every building in the tourist town of 250,000 had been destroyed.

(Eyewitness accounts)


People picked through the rubble with pick axes and their bare hands, looking

for family and friends, Chance said, adding there were only four doctors to

serve the thousands of injured.



The United Nations has warned that more than 2.5 million people are in need of

shelter following the earthquake, The Associated Press reported.



***Assistance is flowing***


Across wide areas there is no power, or adequate food or water. Pakistanis have

camped out in the streets overnight, fearful of returning home because of

aftershocks, one of which measured 6.2 in magnitude.


Some slept in their cars, while others gathered in outdoor areas such as

soccer fields.


Planes packed with supplies are arriving, while rescue teams are being

dispatched to help those who have been left injured, homeless or stranded.


Late Sunday, the White House announced the United States would provide initial

aid of up to $50 million for reconstruction and relief efforts in Pakistan, a key

U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.


Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, said Monday that "assistance is

flowing in now."


"Our first flight came in [Sunday] night -- the military airlift with blankets,

water, rations," he said. "There will be additional flights tonight and on through

the week."


Crocker also said that eight military helicopters had been brought to Pakistan

from U.S. operations in Afghanistan.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair said ties to Pakistan "are made even closer

by the large population of British citizens who trace their origin to the Kashmir

region. Such ties make the growing number of casualties even harder to bear."


A second emergency team from Britain arrived Sunday in Islamabad, the Foreign Office

said, bringing fire brigades and search dogs.


European Union Commissioner Louis Michel said he was sending $4.4 million in

emergency relief aid to the region.


The United Nations has been coordinating relief efforts from the international

airport in Islamabad, said Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian

affairs.



***Military tensions aside***


But the need is staggering, Egeland said, with the number of homeless rivaling

those left without shelter after last year's tsunami in South Asia.

"There will be need for hundreds of thousands of tents and emergency shelter

for all the people who have lost everything," he said.


Political tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region appeared

to take a back seat as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Musharraf

and offered help.


The two nations have fought three wars -- two of them over Kashmir -- since

independence from British rule in 1947.

"We have offered all possible assistance for rescue and relief measures,"

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told CNN from New Delhi.

Musharraf said he thanked the Indian leader for the offer. "Whatever we need,

we will certainly ask," he said, though he noted that there is "a little bit

of sensitivity there."


Meanwhile, Associated Press reports the region's Islamic insurgency continues

unabated with police saying 10 people were killed by suspected Muslim

militants on Monday.


CNN's Andrew Stevens, Satinder Bindra, Matthew Chance, Ram Ramgopal, Syed

Mohsin Naqvi and John Raedler and journalists Mukhtar Ahmed and Tom Coghlan

contributed to this report.



(Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published,

broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this

report.)




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