- Title: PAKISTAN : Six months on, Pakistan's earthquake victims still face critical times
- Date: 7th April 2006
- Summary: (W3) MUZAFFARABAD, PAKISTAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR (FILE - OCTOBER 10, 2005) (REUTERS) AERIALS OF DAMAGED BUILDINGS, SHOTS FROM HELICOPTER (3 SHOTS) PEOPLE WALKING NEXT TO RIVER BY DAMAGED TOWN WIDE VIEW OF DAMAGED TOWN, PEOPLE WALKING ALONG ROAD DAMAGED VEHICLES ON MOUNTAIN ROAD WIDE VIEW OF COLLAPSED BUILDING PAKISTANI SOLDIERS CLEARING DEBRIS BODY BURIED UNDER RUBBLE PULL OUT TO SOLDIER COVERING BODY BODY BEING CARRIED BY HELPERS
- Embargoed: 22nd April 2006 13:00
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVAE5L3PYPI36I8JSWQP4DTB0TD9
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Six months on from the devastating Pakistan earthquake, many thousands of victims still face critical times.
While relief work has been generally a success, many of the two million made homeless following the disaster are still in need of help, Oxfam International said.
Some 1,840 aftershocks have rocked the area since the largest natural disaster in Pakistan's history, while tremors, rain and snow have also contributed to daily hazardous landslides.
Such dangers are expected to become particularly severe during the monsoon rains expected in June and July, and come after soaring temperatures in April and June raise the risk of disease.
The fate of displaced people in crowded "spontaneous" camps, in conditions usually worse than official sites, also remains "a glaring issue".
Oxfam says aid agencies are concerned camp residents in some areas have been moved without sufficient communication, alternative land and without clear monitoring to track the movement of vulnerable people.
More than 73,000 people were confirmed dead and a similar number injured. India says that nearly 1,400 died in the sector it administers.
The lack of adequate shelter was a serious issue for the first half of the winter, while a lack of co-ordination also hampered relief agencies in the first months.
When the earthquake hit, it shook cities and villages across the south Asian subcontinent "wiping out" several villages in countryside. The village of Balakot lost nearly all its buildings; the city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistani controlled Kashmir was also almost completely destroyed.
In the capital Islambad rescue workers scrambled over the ruins of an apartment complex where expatriate workers and middle-class Pakistanis lived.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pledges poured in from round the world, but getting emergency supplies to the most desperate victims was slow and difficult.
Some of the hardest-hit areas could only receive aid by helicopters, but often flights had to be halted for several hours because of torrential rains and hailstorms that added to the misery on the ground.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.6, struck at 0350 GMT and was centred in forest-clad mountains of Pakistani Kashmir, near the Indian border, about 95 km (60 miles) northeast of Islamabad.
The first quake was followed by a series of frightening aftershocks between magnitudes of 5.4 and 6.3 -- the last also the biggest at 1046 GMT.
They were felt across the subcontinent and shook buildings in the Afghan, Indian and Bangladeshi capitals, Kabul, New Delhi and Dhaka.
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