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Pakistan: Quake Killed Over 19,000

  • VOA News

Pakistan says Saturday's earthquake killed more than 19-thousand people and officials warn the toll will rise as rescuers reach more areas cut off by the disaster. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf toured quake-devastated areas Sunday and appealed to the world for help. He said more helicopters are needed to reach people in remote areas where roads have been swept away by mudslides. The 7.6-magnitude quake was centered in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and was one the strongest to hit the region. Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao told VOA that entire villages were wiped out and described the situation as grim. Across Pakistan, people dug with bare hands searching for loved ones while authorities used construction equipment to move mounds of rubble. Television footage showed mothers wailing near collapsed schools where hundreds of children are believed buried. Witnesses say the children's cries for help could be heard more than more than 24 hours after the building fell. In neighboring India, officials say more than 600 people were killed, mostly in Indian Kashmir. The death toll there is also expected to rise as rescue workers make their way to remote mountain villages. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke by telephone with General Musharraf and both leaders offered assistance to the other's country.
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