Islamabad: Thousands of survivors of the earthquake that killed 350 in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday waited for help as the government mobilised additional aircraft to rush relief materials to the affected areas.
Rescue teams are yet to reach some remote areas of Balochistan that were hit by the 7.7-magnitude temblor on Tuesday because of hostile terrain and lack of roads.
Over 100,000 homeless people spent a second night in the open as rescue workers and soldiers scrambled to move food, water and medical supplies to the worst-hit areas, including Awaran district which recorded over 300 deaths.
Taking serious notice of the delay in relief operations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today directed authorities to deploy additional helicopters and C-130 transport aircraft.
Though the Army and Frontier Corps have moved 1,000 troops and deployed about 10 helicopters in the worst-hit areas, it is feared that many people are still trapped under the debris of collapsed mud homes.
"Prime Minister has taken serious notice of delay in the relief operations in the quake-affected areas," state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Sharif "directed that more helicopters as well as C-130 (aircraft) should be pressed into service to immediately deliver relief supplies in inaccessible areas", the report said.
Abdul Latif Kakar, head of Balochistan`s Provincial Disaster Management Authority, said over 21,000 families were affected by the quake. In Awaran district alone? there were 305 deaths while 50 more died in Kech district, he said.