Thousands of survivors of the earthquake that killed more than 350 people in southwestern Pakistan today 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.
The Baluchistan government said that a total of 357 people were killed and 620 injured in the deadly earthquake.
Jan Buledi, the spokesperson for Baluchistan government, told reporters that rescue and relief teams were attacked in the districts of Kech and Awaran.
"Security has been an issue but overall the relief and rescue operations are continuing day and night," he said.
Buledi said the devastation caused by the earthquake made access to many of the affected areas difficult or impossible.
Reports said besides tents, the victims were facing a shortage of drinking water and food. The situation was exacerbated by the soaring temperatures in Balochistan, the country's least developed province.
While waiting for help to reach remote villages, hungry people dug through rubble to find food, Al Jazeera reported.
Balochistan government spokesman Jan Baledi said 2,600 tents‚ 5,000 blankets‚ 3,000 food packets‚ 1,700 plastic sheets and 4,000 water bottles had been sent to quake-hit areas.
Besides the difficult terrain, the area is rife with bandits and militants.
Two helicopters carrying two senior army generals, including the chief of the National Disaster Management Authority, and journalists were today attacked with rockets over Awaran. The generals had a narrow escape as the rockets missed their mark.
Awaran's population is scattered over more than 21,000 sq km. More than 60,000 people are believed to have lived within 50 km of the quake's epicentre.
Footage on television showed scores of collapsed homes and people sitting in the open beside piles of mud and bricks.
The quake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 metres off the Gwadar coastline along the Arabian Sea. Reports said another island had come up later.
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