Quake victims in Kashmir faced a renewed threat to their lives Saturday as warnings spread that heavy snow would blanket the quake zone over the next four to five days, possibly triggering avalanches along the jagged peaks and promising more misery for the 3.5 million people left homeless by the Oct. 8 temblor.
The United Nations said Saturday it will now focus on reaching spontaneous and unplanned camps. Officials have also made plans to cater for up to 60,000 survivors who may try to escape the winter cold by evacuating mountainous regions and move to lower-lying areas.
"Our rapid assessment of needs after the first biting taste of winter suggests that we need to do more for people in these unplanned camps below the snowline," UN relief coordinator Jan Vandemoortele said in a statement.
Authorities must also be on guard for a spike in cold-related illnesses, especially among the young and elderly, as the temperatures drop, Vandemoortele said.