Laden with food, water and blankets, a relief truck bound for the Indian part of Kashmir was all but hijacked by desperate survivors of the Asian quake. Desperate to secure suppplies for their families, a frenzied group of men emptied it on the outskirts of the city of Muzaffarabad. Five days after the quake, a steady supply of aid by air was reaching many of the worst-hit towns and cities.
But some villages in the mountains are still waiting for help, said an army spokesman: “There are many areas that we have not been able to reach. The spread of the area affected by the earthquake is 20,000 square kilometres.” Pakistan urgently needs more helicopters but some valleys in the region are so narrow that pack animals will need to be used. While the search for survivors is not quite over, it is highly unlikely that anyone will be found alive now. A fresh tremor in the early hours sparked panic but there have been no reports of casualties. And northern areas have received their first snowfall, meaning the race is on to get people under shelter before winter really begins to bite.