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Poor weather hamstrings Asia quake relief efforts

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Poor weather hamstrings Asia quake relief efforts


Bad weather is hampering efforts to provide aid to the survivors of the Asian earthquake. Torrential rains and hailstorms have added to the misery of the homeless, estimated at up to a million. Some of the worst-hit areas received aid on Tuesday but the conditions on the ground mean many are still cut off.

Up to 40,000 people were killed by the tremor, whose magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale made it the strongest to hit the region in a century. Most of the victims died in the Pakistani-controlled sector of Kashmir. Around 2,000 people are thought to have been killed on the Indian side. Helicopters and rescue teams have still not been able to reach areas beyond the towns of Muzaffarabad and Balakot. Landslides have blocked access to many places. As hopes of finding more survivors dwindle, attention is focusing on feeding those displaced and caring for the many thousands injured. The UN has dispatched an initial shipment of food, but it is unlikely to reach some of the most needy quickly enough. Health officials say there is a risk of cholera, pneumonia and other diseases breaking out.
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