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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 02:54 GMT 03:54 UK
Weather raises quake relief fears
An elderly woman and her grandchildren wait to get relief goods at a refugee camp in Muzaffarabad.
There are fears about the survivors
Bad weather is still hampering efforts to help victims of the South Asian quake - but heavy rains eased on Monday bringing some hope.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said this was a major preoccupation in Pakistan-administered Kashmir - the worst affected area.

Poor weather had stopped relief and evacuation flights on Sunday.

Meanwhile Pakistani authorities said the number of people killed in the quake was now more than 40,000.

Millions have been made homeless and there are fears about stranded survivors.

Weather conditions are becoming a major preoccupation for the overall relief effort

But on Sunday, an 11-year-old girl suffering from polio was brought to safety by the Pakistan army - eight days after the earthquake.

Two of her brothers managed to raise the alarm after walking from their village near the town of Balakot, army spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan said.

Earlier, the army had said the girl was aged three and had been pulled from underneath rubble.

Slow process

Relief workers are increasingly worried about severe weather conditions, in particular the cold.

The Red Cross said it was particularly alarmed by the plight of people in a part of the Jhelum valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir - an area where a large number were killed in the earthquake.

Woman in Muzaffarabad
Disasters Emergency Committee (UK)
World Food Programme
Kashmir International Relief Fund
Red Cross/ Red Crescent
In a statement on Sunday, it warned that within a month, heavy snows will limit helicopter use and re-opening the roads was a "slow and difficult process".

It said poor weather was to blame for delaying the opening of a field hospital in Muzaffarabad.

The World Health Organization has warned that survivors could face the risk of hypothermia as winter snows begin settling on mountain peaks.

Bad weather has been blamed for the crash of a Pakistani army helicopter on a relief mission on Saturday night. All six crew were killed.

On Monday, the bodies of the dead were ready for transport back to Islamabad.

Helicopters are vital to the relief effort as many communities and thousands of villagers are still cut off by landslides that swept the roads away.

Where roads are open they are frequently jammed with traffic.

The authorities have delivered 18,000 tents to the affected regions, far short of the 100,000 initially needed, with cold weather forecast.

The quake injured 60,000 and made 3.3m homeless.

At least another 1,400 more people died in Indian-administered Kashmir. Pakistan says the quake will cost it $5bn in infrastructure losses.

See how quake surivors are living


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