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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Rescue Effort Intensifies in Pakistan as Quake Toll Mounts

10 October 2005

Two days after a massive earthquake struck Pakistan, rescuers are still digging in the rubble, sometimes with their bare hands, in the hope of finding survivors. The death toll from the 7.6 magnitude earthquake has passed 20,000 and tens of thousands of people are injured.

Most of the deaths from Saturday's disaster occurred in the Pakistani-controlled portion of Kashmir, the quake's epicenter.

Speaking by telephone from the regional capital Muzaffarabad, resident Abdul Hameed describes the tragedy.

"This building has collapsed. This is my building. 10-to-15 people are alive [under the debris]. They are crying for [help] and there is nobody."

The earthquake also wiped out communities in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

Offers of assistance have poured in from around the world. In addition to $50 million in financial aid, the United States is sending eight military helicopters to assist relief efforts.

Pakistani troops have now restored road and communication links with some of the hardest hit areas.

But residents still face food and gasoline shortages and there has been looting in Muzaffarabad as people struggle to find supplies.

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