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Weather adds to Pakistan quake woes
Survivors in Balochistan spend second night outdoors in sub-zero temperatures.
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2008 18:30 GMT
Pakistan has not officially issued an appeal for foreign assistance [AFP]

Thousands of villagers in Pakistan have spent a second night outdoors in sub-zero temperatures after a devastating earthquake destroyed their homes on Wednesday.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by a series of aftershocks, following the 6.4 magnitude quake in the Ziarat valley in the province of Balochistan, which has killed at least 215 people and left more than 15,000 homeless.

More bodies are expected to be pulled from the rubble and many survivors have complained of receiving little help.

"The earthquake destroyed our houses, but now the government's slow response is killing us," Moosa Kaleem, a local resident in the town of Ziarat, said.

"We cannot spend another night in this chilly weather, especially the kids."

According to an AFP correspondent in Wam, one of the worst-hit villages, emergency tents had not arrived by Thursday morning, and villagers had been forced to sleep in the ruined shells of their homes overnight.

They had spent the previous day in a desperate search for loved ones or burying the dead in mass graves.

Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from the Pakistani city of Quetta, said: "This is is a city gripped by fear and perhaps its citizens have a very right to be [afraid].

The last earthquake here was in 1935, and it killed 30,000 people. It is commemorated in Baluchi folklore and memorials.

"This latest earthquake has triggered fears of a mssa devasation and some residents of the city have deiciced that it is safer despite the bitter cold to sleep outisde than [it is] to sleep inside."

Aftershocks predicted

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department said it had recorded more  than 250 aftershocks.

Video

Pakistan quake catastrophe
 

They also said that more are likely to be felt into next week but  of decreasing magnitude.

"It is a complete emergency here. Nobody has anything to eat and drink," Dilawar Kakar, the mayor of Ziarat, said.
 
"We need a lot of resources to reconstruct, and stabilise these trauma stricken people."

The UN World Food Programme pledged to supply emergency rations to those displaced by the disaster for two months, while the International Committee of the Red Cross was distributing some 2,500 tents.

In the hillside town of Kawas, soldiers handed out blankets, tents and sleeping bags to a crowd of 500 people and helped load two dozen trucks with supplies destined for other areas.

In the capital Islamabad, Farooq Ahmad Khan, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said Pakistan had not issued an appeal for foreign assistance, but any help would be accepted.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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