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Quake Victims Helping Themselves, Waiting for Aid

Residents of Indian-held Kashmir say the government is not doing enough to help people affected by Saturday's devastating earthquake, which may have killed more than 800 people in India. Some are taking matters into their own hands by providing assistance themselves.

A crowd of people gathers around a truck from which volunteers give out clothes, food, and water. It is some of the only assistance residents say has reached the town of Jula, about 200 kilometers outside Kashmir's summer capital, Srinigar, following Saturday's deadly earthquake.

Mustad is one of the volunteers.

"This is by the people. Only by the people, not from government. It is from students, it is from businessmen not from government. This is not aid from government. They are seeing their ministers are coming here, they are seeing, but they are not providing anything to them," he said.

Authorities say they are using military aircraft to deliver rice, flour and sugar to remote areas in Kashmir, the mountainous area divided between India and Pakistan, and the source of decades of friction between them.

In Indian-held Kashmir, houses were flattened, or lie collapsed upon themselves along the treacherous mountain road leading out of the summer capital, Srinigar, toward the Pakistani city of Muzaffarabad.

Along that road, and just past Jula, is where the road ends. Bulldozers are being used to clear tons of earth and debris caused by a landslide, and preventing assistance from reaching more remote areas.

More than 800 people are estimated to have died in Indian-held Kashmir, among 20,000 killed across the region. The 7.6 magnitude quake Saturday primarily struck India and Pakistan, but was also felt as far as Afghanistan.

In the village of Gingal, the Indian military provided about two-dozen small tents and milk for people made homeless by the earthquake, while two political organizations provided milk and rice.

But that is not enough to house or feed the 1400 residents of Gingal.

These men say they do not care where the assistance comes from, local or national authorities, just as long as they get help.

Officials in the Indian capital, New Delhi, say they hope to reach more outlying areas soon.