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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Earthquake zone's South West aid
Shelterbox carried in earthquake zone. Picture courtesy of Mark Pearson, Shelterbox
Some boxes and their contents had to be carried by rescuers
Aid provided by people in the South West is being used in some of the areas worst hit by the South Asia earthquake.

Cornwall-based charity Shelterbox said 1,000 aid boxes had been sent to affected areas and tented villages put up in Pakistan and Kashmir.

Some of the boxes were taken up mountains by mule train.

Meanwhile, members of Devon-based search and rescue service Rapid-UK hope to return to region to train the army and police in rescue techniques.

Survival equipment

Shelterboxes are being flown to Pakistan's capital, Islamabad before being distributed under the supervision of a two-man team from the charity.

Shelterbox co-ordinator Joe Cannon said: "Our team have been out there for just over a week and are due to return on 24 October. They will debrief and we plan to send out a three-man team at the end of next week."

He added: "We intend to send boxes out until we are told to turn the tap off, as it were. Until then, we plan to send out 600 boxes a week."

Earlier this week, about 60 boxes were sent to the 2,500m (8,200ft) high village of Arjia in Kashmir. But aid workers could only carry tents from the boxes up slopes on their backs before mules were brought in to carry two boxes each.

Fund-raising is ongoing to pay for the boxes which cost 490 each.

Shelterbox tents in earthquake zone. Picture courtesy of Mark Pearson, Shelterbox
Shelterboxes have been used to create tented villages
Joe Cannon said: "We've had a lot of money being sent in from churches' harvest festivals, as well as other groups and individuals."

Two teams from Rapid-UK have returned home, but members of the organisation hope to return to be able to train local police and army personnel search and rescue procedures.

Rapid-UK Director Graham Payne said: "We've finished our work because the situation is at the relief stage, but army personnel, including officers and generals, said they would like to learn search and rescue techniques and we hope to offer them our whole training programme.

"It will include recognising how and why buildings collapse, where to go looking for voids in rubble where survivors may be trapped, propping and shoring-up buildings, equipment to use and the use of search dogs."

More than 50,000 people are believed to have been killed in Kashmir, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan by the earthquake on 8 October, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. Millions more were left homeless.




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