Pakistani authorities said that they were racing against time to send relief supplies, including blankets, tents and food to the country’s quake-affected rugged northwest amid forecasts of heavy rains and snowfall there for the next week.
Asghar Nawaz, the director-general at the National Disaster Management Authority, said on Friday that they were using trucks, eight helicopters and a military plane to provide aid across the country.
“The bad weather can delay the relief activities,” he told reporters in the capital, Islamabad.
Nawaz made his comments after visiting towns and villages in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that have been worst affected by Monday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake. The quake was centered in neighbouring Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province that borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China — but caused extensive damage in Pakistan’s northwest, specifically in the Swat Valley and towns of Chitral and Shangla in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The earthquake killed 396 people, including 272 in Pakistan, 121 in Afghanistan and three on the Indian side of the disputed Kashmir region. Authorities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province said Friday that 62 women and 57 children were among the 223 people killed in the province.
The quake also damaged 35,492 homes in Pakistan, where government has promised to help people rebuild their homes. Nawaz said relief workers were also transporting aid to the country’s quake-hit tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
Nawaz said survey teams were still assessing damages caused by the quake.