Snow halts relief for quake survivors

Rain and snow have fallen across Pakistan's earthquake zone for a second straight day, grounding relief flights and adding to the misery of millions of survivors camped out in tents and crude shelters.

    The quake left about two million people in tents or flimsy shelters

    Heavy snow fell across high ground and rain drenched valleys overnight on Monday, triggering tent collapses and landslides, but the military, co-ordinating a huge relief effort with aid groups, said there had been no reports of major incidents.
       
    Major Farooq Nasir, a military spokesman in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, said: "There has been no unpleasant news regarding any accidents." 
       
    More than 73,000 people were killed by the 8 October earthquake in northern Pakistan, and about 1300 died in Indian Kashmir.
       
    The Pakistan meteorological department said some parts of the quake zone, which extends from Kashmir into North West Frontier Province, had seen more than 60cm of snow. 

    Forecast

    Mohammad Aslam, the meteorology office official, said rain and widespread heavy snow was expected until Saturday. 
       

    Snow brought down tents in
    the remote Allai valley

    More than two million people have been camping out since the quake in tents or flimsy shelters built in the rubble of their homes.
       
    They said heavy snow had brought down tents in the remote, high-altitude Allai valley of North West Frontier Province, as well as in some parts of Pakistani Kashmir.
      
    Nasir said heavy rain across the fractured mountains had produced some landslides and rockfalls, but some relief operations by road were continuing.

    The bad weather had been expected since early December but held off, allowing more supplies of shelter, bedding, food and medical supplies to be flown and trucked up into the mountains.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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