Clearing roads and tracks using bulldozers, the army Thursday reached villages in Uri and Tangdhar, cut off for five days after the devastating earthquake, providing much-needed relief to survivors even as a strong tremor measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rattled both sides of Kashmir.
Joint teams of army and police forces have been able to reach almost all the affected villages in the remote areas and now efforts are being made to provide relief supplies to the people, Lt Gen S S Dhillon, general officer commanding of 15 Corps of the army said in Srinagar.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to the people to contribute generously towards the relief efforts.
Coming to terms with the disaster that claimed more than 1,300 lives and left over 1.5 lakh people homeless, residents in Uri town and nearby villages were trying to put their lives back in order.
Some were seen trying to erect structures where their shops and homes once stood.
The Signals Corps of the army assisted state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in bringing the region back on the telecomuunications map, restoring telephone services using the army emergency exchange in Tangdhar.
In Uri, mobile services were also restored. Over 10,000 STD calls have been facilitated by the Army Signals Corps from Uri and Tangdhar, Dhillon told reporters.
Army and air force helicopters flew 40 missions, evacuating 291 casualties from remote areas, including 143 civilians.
They also ferried nearly eight tonnes of food and relief supplies to remote areas.
Nearly 5,000 civilians have been provided medical aid in the makeshift medical camps at different locations in Uri and Tangdhar and more than 600 casualties have been evacuated to Srinagar by air and road.