[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 22:44 GMT 23:44 UK
Reporters' log: S Asia earthquake
Earthquake survivors in Muzaffarabad seek shelter in the city's sports stadium
Survivors have spent another night out in the open
More than 20,000 people are thought to have died in a powerful earthquake in Pakistan, northern India and the disputed territory of Kashmir. Pakistan's president has appealed for international help, saying his country cannot deal with the devastating aftermath on its own.

BBC correspondents in the region report on the impact of the earthquake.

Sian Williams : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 2112GMT

This is now a city almost completely destroyed. Over two-thirds of the houses are now rubble.

Thousands are still without shelter and it is getting colder. There is no food, power or water. Up until now there has been very little help too. But now aid is starting to arrive.

Everything is silent here now, people just sit and stare, wondering what to do.

Tonight we saw some dead bodies which had been left outside tents along the roadside which are being used by the survivors. It is clear people are still dying here, the help is not getting to them.

Aamer Ahmed Khan : Rawalpindi, Pakistan : 1810GMT

I've now just arrived in Rawalpindi on my way to Bagh. As I left Muzaffarabad shopkeepers were mounting night-time vigils outside what's left of their stores to ward off looters.

I saw some shopkeepers hurling stones at would-be thieves. There have been dozens of reports of looters entering damaged houses and making off with people's goods and possessions.

Meanwhile, the exodus from Muzaffarabad continues. People are still leaving the city in their droves - on foot and in whatever vehicles they can find.

But what is different today is that a stream of traffic - mostly vehicles carrying relief - is heading in the other direction, towards Muzaffarabad and other affected areas.

In Rawalpindi, the word is that the big relief operation in now finally underway - specialist foreign teams are headed to Muzaffarabad.

Mike Wooldridge : Islamabad, Pakistan : 1715GMT

One Pakistani minister admitted today that the government had been overwhelmed by a disaster that's turned out to be unprecedented in its scale in this country.

But the government also maintains that it's done its best for those in the worst affected areas given the logistical problems caused by the earthquake.

The authorities here say they now have 20 helicopters in the air engaged in the relief and rescue operations. And the government says the response so far to its appeals for international assistance have been encouraging though there's a desperate need for more helicopters, blankets and shelter in particular.

The international relief operation is gaining pace. More specialist rescue teams have arrived here to take part in the search for people trapped in the rubble.

Among the countries from which Pakistan has now accepted an offer of help is India, a highly symbolic move given that the disaster has so badly affected the region that's caused division and war between Pakistan and India over more than half a century, Kashmir.

On Tuesday the United Nations will launch a flash appeal in an attempt to further galvanise the international community's response for the relief work.

Ben Brown : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 1707GMT

Today distraught relatives raced into the city to check on their loved ones as the roads re-opened, finally cleared of rubble.

Bodies are still strewn everywhere, left where they fell, running from falling buildings. The stench of death that fills the air is fast becoming unbearable.

There are some people looting on the streets, we saw one man throw rocks at them to drive them away.

People continue to search, even though they don't expect to find too many people alive now. Mostly what we saw today were local people clawing with their bare hands.

We saw them pull a mother of four alive from the rubble. I asked her how she survived. I just kept praying and reading the Koran, God has saved me, she said.

Along the main routes people walk away from the city, making their way to anywhere, it has to be better than what they are leaving behind.

Sanjiv Srivastava : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1629GMT

During the last few hours the biggest problem here has been the weather. There have been heavy showers, hailstorms, thunder. It is turning very ugly and inclement here.

There is still a large number of people staying out of their homes, even those with property left intact, they are afraid to return indoors.

This is going to be a dark, long and gloomy night ahead.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 1612GMT

The magnitude of the problem is big, really big.

Thousands of people are still on the streets, living outdoors, still hoping for help. No food, no drinking water, no tents, no blankets and the mood is turning from one of anger to one of desperation. It is a real desperate situation here.

Nick Bryant : Balakot, Pakistan : 1604GMT

This town where I am has been completely destroyed. The stalls and the shops in the bazaar are now just a pile of rubble.

Behind that a boys school and the local police station. All now gone too.

A Pakistani general has said that 90% of this town has been destroyed. There is no infrastructure to help rebuild right now.

Lyse Doucet : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 1532GMT

The soldiers here have been trying in daylight hours to rescue people and recover bodies. Earlier they pulled one 13 year old girl alive from the wreckage. This has given hope to many people here, thousands of people staying here hoping for good news about their family members.

The rescue teams have been joined by international rescuers, including people from Turkey and the UK. Some medical equipment has been brought in but still people are angry that they have not had access to medicines yet.

We have also seen ordinary individuals arriving with loads of aid, including rice and water. Citizens from other parts of the country are trying to do what they can to help.

Sanjiv Srivastava : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1440GMT

Army people are doing their best to send supplies, food packets, medicine even tents but there's a big gap between what people want and what is coming their way.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 1430GMT

Hundreds of thousands of people will have to spend the third consecutive night out in the open.

Many have lost their children, their wives or husbands and everyone is looking to the authorities to provide more relief and rescue some of the survivors buried beneath the rubble.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 1415GMT

These are very harrowing scenes across the town. I've seen literally hundreds of people being pulled from the wreckage of Balakot.

Perhaps eighty percent of the buildings in the town centre have been destroyed and the fear is there are many more bodies to come out. People haven't given up.

But the force of the quake and the damage it's caused and of course it's the third day, darkness has fallen, hopes are fading somewhat.

There is some heavy machinery and they've opened the road to get it in but it's not enough for the scale of the task here.

Some of this heavy machinery has been working on the outskirts of the town and certainly been helpful where it is but there's so much other devastation that needs to be tackled.

Local people, survivors themselves are tearing at the wreckage with their bare hands. A lot more is needed and in terms of other kinds of relief, there's very little here.

People are looking after themselves. This evening survivors are sleeping out in the open for the third night.

They've built their own kinds of shelters from what they've managed to salvage from their homes. There's no organised effort to bring in tents or food supplies by the government.

Sanjiv Srivastava : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1315GMT

This is an area which is as remote as the other side of the divide in Pakistani Kashmir. It took us about eight hours to reach Tangdar.

It's a completely mountainous area and as you go downhill it lies in the cusp of a valley with other villages. Most of them have been completely devastated.

There's hardly a house there that has been left undamaged and a large number of people are dead.

Officially we are being told more than 350 people may have died here but the number could actually be higher because there's still no access to some villages high up in the mountains.

Survivors really want food, water, medicine and most of all tents to sleep in because there are hardly any houses that are left intact.

The Indian and Pakistani authorities are not operating together. Although this region is very close to the border, it's less than 20kms away from the international line which separates the Pakistani side and Indian side of Kashmir.

The topography is exactly the same. The nature of the difficulties which officers face is the same. It's a manmade divide but nature has not spared people on neither side.

Army officials are trying to carry relief to the farthest part and sometimes even carrying rice packets on their backs and medicine kits, carrying them on foot to higher altitude areas.

But the problem is to get equipment there and to set up hospitals in those kind of areas.

Sanjiv Srivastava : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1257GMT

More than 350 people have died in and around the town of Tangdar, about 175km north of Indian Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar, making this region the worst affected by Saturday's earthquake on this side of Kashmir.

Many outlying villages in the high mountain areas are still to be accessed by relief workers raising fears that the death toll here could rise further.

There are deep cracks in the road, strewn with huge boulders and electric poles. But still the scale of the damage in the cluster of villages in and around the town of Tangdar which lies in the Kaspava Valley, only 15km from Pakistani Kashmir, comes as a shock.

Barely a house here is left standing - wood, brick, concrete or stone structures, none has been spared by nature's fury.

Now homeless and many of them grieving the loss of loved ones, the helpless locals are taking out their anger on an administration stretched for resources and logistical backup. So, in some places, food and medicine vans have been looted.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 1212GMT

They're talking about a lost generation here in Balakot where most of the town has been levelled. When the earthquake struck many hundreds of boys and girls were in their schools and died there, the buildings collapsed on top of them.

The heavy digging equipment that has now arrived is helping but such is the scale of the devastation that far more equipment is needed and people are asking why it's taking so long to arrive.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 1120GMT

There is more heavy digging equipment in the town. They have managed to find a road in and the workers are starting to work on some of the rubble on the outskirts of town.

They're still working at the remains of the boys' school, where it's believed several hundred boys died. I've been watching many of their bodies being pulled out throughout the day here and some of them are actually being buried in the grounds of the school.

I'm looking over the other side of Balakot, where there are hundreds of people over what was one of the remains of the main girls school. And it's the same story there, the girls were all inside when the earthquake hit and there people are pulling at the wreckage.

There's certainly no heavy lifting equipment there to help them and they are desperately hoping they will find survivors.

There are some signs of hope. I saw four women taken from the wreckage of the bazaar and also a small baby was found alive in another part of town. But I've seen many more bodies pulled from the wreckage.

And clearly as time goes on the chances of finding more survivors fades especially as this place is not getting the attention it needs.

Altaf Hussain : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1100GMT

In Tangdar, most areas are devastated and hundreds of people are homeless. Many of them have not any relief yet. People said there were bodies under the debris still.

People have stayed out in the open, shivering in the rainy night. The only water they have drunk is rainwater which they have been storing in used fruit drink tetra packs.

Even when they are getting food, they cant cook it because they don't have utensils. In one village, people took away 20 bags of rice from a ration depot. The villagers are still looking for utensils to cook.

People here are very angry with the civil administration - relief is too little and too late. When an ambulance carrying a doctor and two paramedics reached Chitrakoot village two days after the quake, they were beaten up by the villagers and their things taken away.

The are full of praise for the army though for the role the soldiers have played in evacuating injured villagers.

In one place, the air force had managed to evacuate 120 injured people over the past two days. I saw a truck bringing some injured to a local hospital - the vehicle belonged to India's paramilitary Border Security Force.

Binoo Joshi : Jammu, Indian Kashmir : 1040GMT

I went to Bakshinagar area to find out that a Hindu resident of Jammu who had taken the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus across the border on Thursday had died in the earthquake.

The news came in at 14.30 today that Basti Ram Tandon, who was in his 60s, had died in the quake in a village he was visiting near Muzaffarabad. Tandon had gone with his brother and one of his sons to visit relatives across the border.

A co-passenger on the bus had passed on the bad news to somebody who had called up a relative. Tandon was dead, he said. And his brother and son were severely injured and apparently without much medical attention.

They were the first Hindus to have boarded the bus since the cross-border service began earlier this year.

When I went there, Tandon's nephew was standing outside the house trying to figure out how to break the bad news to the family. The family was in a state of shock, anyway, having not heard anything about Tandon's fate.

"It seems death took him across the border," said the nephew.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 1020GMT

We've seen very desperate people and they've all been asking for food and shelter.

Wherever you look buildings have collapsed. Thousands of people are buried underneath but there are very few rescue teams to pull them out.

The Pakistani authorities say they have prioritised the work; those who are critically injured are being sent to Islamabad and Rawalpindi for medical care.

We've seen helicopters coming in with relief goods and medical supplies. But still people need much more.

People have spent two consecutive nights out in the open. There are no tents or blankets.

People are getting very angry because the authorities are unable to help.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 1010GMT

Some rescue efforts are starting to step up here but still far less than what is needed for the scale of the devastation.

In the last couple of hours, some heavy construction equipment has managed to get in but it's only on the outskirts of Balakot. They really can only make a dent in the scale of the devastation. For the most part, it is people digging through the rubble with their hands, picks and shovels.

They have managed to find a few people alive but obviously as time goes on those hopes start to fade of finding more.

There is no shelter and no food. I saw many people leaving the town, in some cases, carrying their dead with them because they said there was no shelter up here.

Those same people came back into the town today to see if they could find any more survivors and help out with the rescue effort.

People feel that things should be happening more quickly. The Pakistani military say they are bringing in more troops.

All day I've been seeing helicopters but for the most part they are flying overhead. They don't seem to be delivering any supplies or dropping off men and equipment.

Aamer Ahmed Khan : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0950GMT

The first major sign of help came this morning in the shape of two international rescue teams, one from Turkey and another one from the UK.

But what was being expected was relief in terms of food and medical supplies.

British rescuers said they had found a 12-year-old boy trapped for the last two days from one of the buildings on Bank road, the scene of massive damage.

The boy has been airlifted to Islamabad. Rescuers have so far searched nearly a dozen buildings but have not been able to repeat their early morning success.

The young boy's rescue, it seems, has failed to raise the morale of this place where people are getting more and more desperate for food and medical aid.

Two trucks carrying food supplies were mobbed by the people at around noon. Scuffles broke out as no one wanted to miss the opportunity to stack up.

There were reports of looting at damaged shops and abandoned homes. Not just food stores but even clothes and jewellery shops have been plundered.

Theft is fast becoming a serious concern as many people have woken up this morning to find their already destroyed homes plundered of whatever the thieves could find.

One ray of hope lies in the fact that tremors seem to have stopped. The last one was felt at around 4:00 a.m local time.

One Pakistan army rescuer said that heavy machinery has been mobilised now that at least one of the routes into Muzaffarabad is open.

He said specialised equipment for removing debris and knocking down dangerously damaged buildings is expected to reach the city by the evening.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0927GMT

The epicentre of the earthquake was not far from Muzzafarabad and it has turned large parts of the city into ruins.

Almost every second building has collapsed and most others have been severely damaged.

This has thrown hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets - many of whom have spent their second consecutive night out in the open.

But with the re-opening of a major road link, help has started to pour in.

A number of foreign rescue teams have also arrived and their presence is making a difference.

Members of the UK-based charity, International Rescue Corps, have used life-detecting sensors to locate a thirteen-year-old boy from under the rubble.

They are now searching for more survivors.

Rescue teams from Turkey are also involved in similar work. But with thousands already dead, many here have been highly critical of the government's relief efforts and say it's too little, too late.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 0900GMT

There are helicopters coming here but they are not bringing in a lot of supplies. The main effort here is mainly from local people, the survivors themselves.

In the last hour or so, some heavy digging equipment has managed to reach the town and started to get through some of this rubble to try and look for survivors who may be underneath. Certainly that's what people hope for but those hopes are not as strong as they were.

All morning since I've been here, we've been seeing many bodies but no survivors being pulled from the wreckage.

It's impressive the way people have rallied around here. What happened here is many of the survivors around Balakot left because they weren't getting shelter, they weren't getting the help they needed and they literally walked out because that was the only way of getting to and from Balakot.

And then they came back today carrying picks and shovels. There were hundreds of people coming in to help and as the day has gone on the numbers have grown.

As I'm looking across the devastated town of Balakot, I'm seeing literally hundreds of thousands of people all over the rubble like ants working away trying to dig, hoping there may be people underneath.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 0845GMT

This is the first significant help to arrive in Balakot since the earthquake struck on Saturday.

There are two digging machines in front of me, working away at the rubble on the outskirts of the town and also two bulldozers have arrived and they are filling in a large hole in the road into town after clearing away the landslides that were blocking the road further on.

So a path has been opened. And also, there's a Chinese relief team that has just arrived bringing in sniffer dogs to start searching for survivors they hope for under the rubble.

But, for the most part, it's mostly survivors, local people, who are doing the searching, across the rest of the town. A huge area has been devastated by the quake, perhaps eighty per cent of the buildings are down, and it's still believed there are many people trapped underneath.

They've been bringing out many bodies but there are still hopes there may still be some survivors.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0830GMT

More helicopters are bringing in relief to Muzaffarabad and taking seriously injured people back to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. This operation has continued since early this morning.

On the ground, it is a very critical situation. Every second house and every second building has been destroyed; others have been declared unsafe to live. People have spent two nights out in the open.

Now the rescue work is being stepped up. We saw two foreign rescue teams helping the Pakistani military in the search for survivors, one is from Turkey and the other is from Britain.

The UK team and the international rescue core was able to find this morning, a twelve year old boy in the rubble after three days. That has raised hopes that there may be many more survivors beneath the rubble.

They went to a school where it's believed 500 children are buried under concrete as the earthquake has struck this area. But there was no sign of life there.

The mood here is one of panic, of anger and disgust. People want food, water and immediate medical help.

Lyse Doucet : Islamabad, Pakistan : 0810GMT

For the international community this is a massive undertaking. Tomorrow the UN Secretary General will launch a flash appeal to help Pakistan in its hour of need.

The figures are already staggering. More than 20,000 dead; some 42,000 injured. But relief officials here say the numbers could be double if not triple that.

More than two days after a devastating earthquake struck this mountainous region the entire scale of this disaster is still unfolding.

Here in Islamabad, they are still counting the bodies one by one. In the last few hours, Pakistani and British rescue teams have taken out two more bodies. Yet all around this site, anxious families are still awaiting news of their loved ones.

The situation is worth in North Pakistan, where more than four million people lived and where entire villages have been flattened. Many areas still haven't been reached by military helicopter or by road.

Geeta Pandy : Delhi, India : 0800GMT

The death toll from Saturday's earthquake in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has risen to seven hundred and fifty.

The chief secretary of the state, Vijay Bakay, has told a press conference in the state capital, Srinagar, that seven hundred and thirty-three deaths have been reported from the Kashmir Valley, whereas seventeen people have died in the Jammu region.

He says the rescue teams have still not managed to reach all the affected areas and some villages still remain inaccessible.

Mr Bakay says army soldiers are involved in relief and rescue operations and they will be using helicopters to deliver food, water and tents to those areas which are still not accessible by road.

Lyse Doucet : Islamabad, Pakistan : 0720GMT

The rescue and relief operations is going on here just behind me but it's on a magnitude that this country has never coped with before. The international effort is gathering pace.

And we've heard heart rending stories of parents tearing at the rubble with their bare hands.

Of course we see here they have expert rescue teams from Britain and Pakistan but they simply struggling outside the capital. The rescue operation, the relief effort is only in its very early stages.

We still really don't have a very clear idea of where the affected populations are, how many people have survived and what they need at this hour.

Zaffar Abbas : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0710GMT

Heavy equipment has started to come into the city. These rescuers also told us that equipment from Islamabad is being sent here. At the same time, we have spotted trucks are bringing relief supplies here as well.

So the situation will improve gradually but now we've heard complaints from people that villagers are being ignored outside the city and people say many of the villages have been badly affected.

The villagers are the people that need a lot of help. The authorities are trying to meet the challenge to cope with the situation but it is a very desperate situation.

Sian Williams : Islamabad, Pakistan : 0705GMT

The latest figures we have are that 28 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage, 86 people have been rescued and official statistics suggest 56 people are missing although that number could change.

I've noticed that very different techniques are being used to than those used half an hour ago. They were using sound detectors then and we were asked to be very quiet. Now they have the bulldozers in.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 0615GMT

It is very much a scene of devastation here. In the centre of Balakot, probably eighty to ninety percent of the buildings have been destroyed.

I'm at an area right now that had the remains of what was the boys' school here and all morning people have been coming to pick through the wreckage with their bare hands, picks and shovels, hoping to find survivors here.

But here in Balakot there's none of these specialist rescue teams that you have been hearing about in Islamabad like British teams. There is really no one here except local people. There are hopes of finding survivors but all I have seen this morning is bodies being pulled out of the wreckage.

There is very much now a smell of decay across the town because it's believed there are many hundreds, possibly thousands of people buried beneath this wreckage.

There have been several landslides that have blocked the road here. I got here by walking in over those landslides, over the remains of the road. Now there's a Pakistani military team further down which is beginning to clear some of these landslides.

The problem is, closer to the town the road itself is badly damaged so it's going to be very difficult to get vehicles over once the road is cleared. Helicopters are needed. There are some which have been bringing in small supplies but they won't be able to bring the huge equipment needed to lift the kind of rubble that we've got here.

So it's going to take a very long time. Already people are complaining of what they see is a lack of outside help.

Mike Wooldridge : Islamabad, Pakistan : 0610GMT

Rescue teams as they set off in Islamabad here go in that hope that they will be search out and find survivors. The real issue is whether all this can happen in time.

It's going to be extremely difficult for them to even get to some of the places that have been severely affected.

That is where the helicopters are absolutely essential to this process. Whether they arrive here in sufficient numbers for there to be a chance to rescue people, for aid to get to those who increasingly urgently need it, that is obviously going to be a key question and also in the case of this earthquake whether there will be a coordination now that has not always happened in disasters.

In every possible way, this earthquake is a test of the international community and of Pakistan itself.

Aamer Ahmed Khan : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0600GMT

I am exhausted, aching all over, drenched in dew and miserably cold, but compared to those who have lived through all of it, I must feel like a king.

The first thing I encounter on going out is anger. That looks like its going to be the story of the day. Anger is mounting by the minute. People are angry at everyone and everything.

Till yesterday, there were many who said they were certain the authorities would soon move in. Today, they only have undisguised hatred in their eyes - hatred for what has happened to them, hatred for mother nature, hatred for Pakistan.

Many among them have started to wonder if they were, indeed, the lucky ones. Most of the people have spent the night either out in the open or in cars. Children, looking excited till yesterday, are now looking exhausted.

Few have been able to sleep. There was a big tremor at 2:30 a.m. followed by an even bigger one at 4:00.A few who have managed to make contact with relatives or friends in Pakistan are incensed at what they call "army's propaganda".

"Every TV channel in Pakistan is reporting that a massive rescue effort has been launched," says a man so furious that he can barely talk. "You are here, you have seen everything yourself. Where is the rescue effort?"

A lone bulldozer has made its way to Muzaffarabad's main bazaar and is trying to clear the road.

The streets have a bad smell to them, ominously bad. Whatever is there under the rubble, no one wants to talk about it.

Zaffar Abbas : Pakistan-administered Kashmir : 0530GMT

It is a very bad, very desperate situation here. We arrived a couple of hours ago and since then there has not been a single office building or house that has survived from Saturday's earthquake. Most of the buildings have collapsed.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been out in the open for the last couple of nights. They have absolutely no idea as to how many more people are buried under the rubble. The authorities are trying to provide some help but it is very limited help that is coming from the Pakistani army and the civilian authorities.

People are really asking for more rescue teams to be sent to Muzaffarabad if they want to rescue those that survive and are still buried under rubble. The mood is changing from one of grief to that of disgust and anger.

Mike Wooldridge : Islamabad, Pakistan : 0501GMT

Across a swathe of northern Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the third day after the earthquake is bringing growing scenes of grief, of people who remain trapped in rubble, unburied bodies and the swelling ranks of the homeless.

It's feared their number could rise to a million. Search and rescue teams from various nations, including Britain, will be trying to dig out survivors in some of the most devastated areas as they've succeeded in doing at the collapsed apartment block here in Islamabad.

But the more unreachable places are because of the many landslides, the greater this challenge will be. After President Musharraf's appeal for international help yesterday, helicopters and other aid are now starting to arrive.

Andrew North : Balakot, Pakistan : 0442GMT

I am looking at what remains of the main boys school in Balakot. Its green metal roof has collapsed on top of heaps of wood and stone rubble. Local people are pulling at the wreckage, just using their hands.

They are still finding many bodies underneath. I just saw two brought out and there are 12 more laid out nearby. People told me there were several hundred boys here when the earthquake hit. They believe most of them are dead.

The smell of decaying bodies hangs in the air. It is a similar scene across this devastated town, where at least 80 percent of the buildings have been levelled. Most of the market is destroyed.

Although there are Pakistani soldiers here now, they do not have any heavy lifting equipment, nor any tents and food and water for survivors. The only way is by helicopter or on foot - the way I came - because the road is blocked by landslides. It is a desperate scene here, and local people say they need much more help from outside.

Aamer Ahmed Khan : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0342GMT

Help has started to arrive. Locals say 23 military vehicles carrying regular troops and troops from the Frontier Works Organisation have just entered Muzaffarabad. They are armed with heavy hammers, pick-axes and shovels.

In teams of 10 to 12, army personnel are seen moving into various parts of the city. Some are accosted by people asking for food and medicines. They are told that supplies are on the way.

An army officer says they cannot clear the debris in the main bazaar without evacuating it first. That may be a tough ask, given that it is the main artery that runs through the city.

The officer says that some partially damaged buildings have become too dangerous and may have to be razed to the ground. No one, it seems, knows where to begin.

But one can feel a sense of instant relief among the survivors. Help has been a long time coming. They do not know what kind of assistance they can now expect, but at least someone is there.

Aamer Ahmed Khan : Muzaffarabad, Pakistan : 0130GMT

A lone bulldozer has made its way to Muzaffarabad's main bazaar and is trying to clear the road. The streets have a bad smell to them.

Anger is mounting by the minute. Until yesterday, there were many who said they were certain the authorities would soon move in.

Today, they have only hatred in their eyes - anger at what has happened to them, anger at nature, anger at Pakistan. Many among them have started to wonder if they were, indeed, the lucky ones.

Most people spent the night either out in the open or in cars. Children, looking excited till yesterday, are now looking exhausted. Few have been able to sleep. There was a big tremor at 0230 (2130GMT), followed by an even bigger one at 0400 (2300GMT).

A few who have managed to make contact with relatives or friends outside of the city are incensed at what they call the army's "propaganda". "Every TV channel in Pakistan is reporting that a massive rescue effort has been launched," says one man. "You are here, you have seen everything yourself. Where is the rescue effort?"


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific