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J&K quake toll touches 1340

Source: PTI
October 12, 2005 21:22 IST
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The death toll in the killer October 8 quake has touched 1340 in Jammu and Kashmir even as authorities fear that the number may rise again as rescue teams reach remote villages.

Officials said since the villages were located far from each other and the terrain was very inhospitable, the recovery of the bodies had been slow.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the state government had already acquired all tents available within the state, Punjab, Haryana and with the army. "But, we are still short of the requirement," he said.

"Almost all villages have been brought on communication link and relief material is being supplied to these areas," Sayeed said.

The chief minister said 1195 civilians had lost their lives while 4373 were injured in the killer quake.

Nearly 150 security force personnel, including 71 army jawans, seven BSF men, five policemen and 63 persons working for Border Roads Organisation were also killed in the earthquake.

Meanwhile, Army has already dispatched 400 tonnes of ration and rehabilitation efforts were being intensified in view of snowfall which was making it difficult for the survivors who had little with them to cope with the harsh weather, a defence spokesman.

Describing the situation in north Kashmir as "critical," he said that about 100 tonnes of ration had been dispatched to North Kashmir on Tuesday and 400 tents and 2,000 blankets was on its way.

Over 73,000 houses have been damaged out of which 42,750 have been completely destroyed, the spokesman said, adding that those houses, which were not fit for dwelling, would also be pulled down after an inspection by engineers.

The spokesman said that electricity had partially been restored in Uri and army personnel were working with civil administration to restore power in Tangdhar area.

On the amount of relief sent to Uri sector, Sayeed said 1628 tents, 25,000 blankets, 100 kitchen sets, 52 trucks of rice, 20 trucks of flour, 11 teams of doctors, 777 boxes of medicines, 200 sleeping bags and 85 bukharis (wood-heaters) had been rushed to the affected areas.

Similarly, 1600 tents, 21700 blankets, 30 trucks of rice, nine trucks of wheat, 10 trucks of flour, 640 boxes of medicines, 10 teams of doctors, 650 sleeping bags and 84 bukharis have been dispatched to Tangdhar, he said.     

The affected areas in Poonch district have been provided 1000 tents, 4000 blankets, five trucks of LPG and kerosene, the chief minister said, adding that the tehsils of Uri, Tangdhar and affected areas of Poonch would be provided free ration for a month.

While most of the essentials are being airlifted, convoys are also moving forward to reduce the airload, the defence spokesman said.

Army has established camps in the worst-hit Uri and Tangdhar areas and was providing tents, blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing and boots besides food.

As many as 13,000 food packets had been either distributed or air-dropped in the regions so far, he said, adding that special efforts are being made to ensure hygiene.

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