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More Focus on Relief Effort as Search for Survivors Slowly Ends

Almost a week after the earthquake hit the South Asia region on Saturday, roads began to re-open and authorities started to end their search to focus on the relief effort.
( [email protected] ) Oct 14, 2005 07:47 PM EDT

Almost a week after the earthquake hit the South Asia region on Saturday, affecting millions of people in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, roads began to re-open and authorities started to end their search to focus on the relief effort.

At a news conference in Islamabad Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general and emergency relief coordinator said according to Associated Press that the aid agencies were changing gears and will start focusing on providing food and shelter.

"If we don't work together, we will become a disaster within a disaster," Egeland said to AP.

International Christian relief organizations have been steadily working with other organizations by tending to the needs of the survivors.

Trucks filled with food, water, blankets, tents and so forth have been sent to the devastated regions by the Christian organizations—Salvation Army, World Vision, and Samaritan's Purse—to name a few.

In an ongoing effort, these organizations are setting up funds and sending workers to ensure the aid is sent to the proper regions and that the supplies will help families recover from the earthquake.

Reuters AlertNet reported that Pakistan’s head of operations Dorothy Blane said that food is not an issue but distributing that food is the problem, and they are racing "against time in terms of the weather."

Earlier this week, heavy rains and hailstorms began to affect helicopters that were flying food and other supplies into the devastated areas, and snow began to fall on some areas of Kashmir, the hardest hit by the earthquake.

Tens of millions of people remain homeless, after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake devastated northern Pakistan on Oct 8, destroying towns and villages.

Pakistan's death toll rose to over 35,000 people as officials said that there was no hope of finding more people beneath the tens of thousands of collapsed buildings, Associated Press reported, while India has reported over 1,350 deaths.

Chinese churches in America are still praying for possible survivors under rubble and landslides, even though officials have stopped the search effort, but Reuters AlertNet reported that Blane said that they are "still hearing stories of people coming out alive today, but I don't think there will be many more."

Church leaders in Pakistan have asked Open Doors, an international Christian ministry, to help strengthen their local churches by providing them with food, medicine and shelter.

"Many of our churches are already gathering clothes and other items to help where they can," said one Pakistani church leader according to Open Doors, "but with help from Open Doors, we can do so much more."

Agreeing with the church leader, the President of Open Doors USA Dr. Carl Moeller said, "Please consider a gift for this project and also lift up the victims in Pakistan in your prayers."

"This is a real opportunity for Christians in this country to demonstrate Christ's love in the midst of terrible suffering in Pakistan," he said according to Open Doors.