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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
Weather hampers quake aid effort
Hand protrudes from crushed house in Muzaffarabad
Most of the dead have yet to be recovered
Bad weather has been hampering aid efforts in Pakistan, three days after the South Asian earthquake.

Torrential rains briefly grounded helicopters and slowed the progress of relief trucks on the roads.

Some aid has begun to reach some towns near the epicentre of the disaster. But many thousands are spending a fourth night in the cold with little shelter.

Pakistan's prime minister says 23,000 people have died in the country, correcting earlier reports of 33,000.

The United Nations has launched an emergency appeal for $272m to help victims.

The appeal aims to cover priority needs for the next six months, including winter shelter equipment, food, medicines and transport.

Some people in remote parts of Pakistan and India have received no aid, and there is growing anger among survivors.

In ruined towns and villages, people have been picking over rubble in the search for loved ones - but there is little hope of finding anyone alive.

New misery

Correspondents say the weather is compounding the misery of already desperate survivors.

Aid arrives but quake survivors say the response has been slow

Downpours prevented army helicopters in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, from taking aid to some remote areas.

Heavy rains also hampered a relief operation that had barely begun in the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, although help has since started to arrive.

The BBC's Andrew North in the town of Balakot, which was flattened by the quake, says many of the thousands of people made homeless there have little shelter from the rain.

But the relief effort was stepped up in the town despite the weather, as the army deployed more troops and hundreds of volunteers brought private aid.

However, our correspondent says there is still great need among those caught amid the continuing aftershocks and mud - and many are complaining about the government's response.

"Most of the people here are cursing the government for still not providing proper attention, and we agree with their feelings," a medical student helping victims told Reuters news agency.

Pakistani officials admit they were initially overwhelmed, but say the relief effort is gathering momentum.

Indian anger

In the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, the authorities say at least 1,300 people are now known to have died, but the number is likely to rise.

World Food Programme
Kashmir International Relief Fund
Red Cross/ Red Crescent

The BBC's Sanjeev Srivastava reports from the devastated town of Uri that there is plenty of relief material in the town.

But it is proving difficult to get it to the more inaccessible villages, our correspondent says.

The Indian prime minister visited the area and said authorities were trying to deliver aid - but the disaster zone was spread out and many places were difficult to reach.

Manmohan Singh was confronted by angry locals.

With road links severed, rescue teams have still not reached more than 12,000 people living in mountain villages in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"Government? We have given up on it," a woman in the village of Garkote told Reuters.

"Now it is up to God to save us."

See the damage in the worst-hit areas of Pakistan


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