Death toll estimate in S. Asia quake above 54,000

Heavy rains receded Monday in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, giving hope that efforts could resume in full swing to bring aid to the millions of hom

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October 17, 2005 04:21
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Heavy rains receded Monday in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, giving hope that efforts could resume in full swing to bring aid to the millions of homeless survivors of Pakistan's monster earthquake that killed an estimated 54,000 or more. Two strong aftershocks struck the region early Monday, including one with a magnitude of 4.5, but there was no immediate report of damage. There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the main 7.6-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 8, and experts say they could continue for months. Officials on Sunday sharply raised estimates of the dead. A spokesman for the local government of Pakistan's portion of Kashmir, which bore the brunt of the quake, said at least 40,000 people died there. That pushed estimates of the total death toll to more than 54,000, including more than 13,000 in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and about 1,350 in the part of divided Kashmir that India controls.

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