Officials in earthquake-hit Pakistan say search and rescue operations for survivors have ended, and the effort now is to provide relief for millions of people who are hungry and left out in the open.
Speaking in Islamabad on Friday, U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland says the cruel reality is that very few people can survive after a week. So, he says aid agencies are now focusing on providing food and shelter to the millions who need it. He appealed for more helicopters to get relief supplies into remote regions. Mr. Egeland says it will take five to 10 years and billions of dollars for the area devastated by the October eighth quake to return to normal. Weather experts say a thunderstorm is expected in Pakistan in the next 24 hours and that it may hamper relief efforts. Earlier today, Pakistan was jolted by another strong aftershock. Local officials say such seismic activity could continue for months. The official death toll so far stands at more than 25-thousand in Pakistan and 14-hundred in Indian Kashmir. India has decided to pay 23-hundred dollars each to the owners of some 40-thousand homes destroyed by the quake in Indian Kashmir. Because the homes cannot be rebuilt before winter, government engineers will build 20 community centers -- each with a capacity for three thousand people. In Washington, President Bush went to the Pakistani embassy to sign the condolences book and express the sympathy of the American people.