Source Pravda.Ru

Pakistan: aid workers fear more deaths among survivors of earthquake

Thousands of people injured in South Asia's earthquake languished without shelter and medical care in villages across the Himalayan region of Kashmir on Monday, and aid workers warned that exposure and infection could trigger a second wave of deaths.

Helicopters, which resumed flying relief missions on Monday after heavy rains forced the suspension of most flights, have ferried thousands to hospitals in Pakistani cities.

An estimated 54,000 people died in the quake, and the death toll is expected to rise. Several million people need food and shelter ahead of the winter. The Pakistani military, civilian volunteers and international aid groups are rushing aid and doctors to the region, as fast as the logistical challenges allow. Landslides caused by the earthquake cut off many roads, which will take several weeks to clear.

In the village of Kanur, survivors standing on the rubble of their homes waved colored clothes to attract the attention of a Pakistani military helicopter flying through the mountains, then begged its crew to take on board injured villagers, the AP reports.

At the helicopter's next stop, Kel Garam, a village where 250 died in the quake, villagers had fashioned a helipad in a clearing in hopes that a chopper would bring supplies. It landed near the local mosque, whose walls had been cracked by the temblor.

Soldiers handed out relief goods, including blankets and food - but no tents, the most badly needed item in these hills. There was only room for one of the village's 30 seriously injured people to catch the flight out. A.M.