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UN Nearly Doubles Donations Target for South Asian Quake

The United Nations has nearly doubled its appeal for donations for victims of the South Asia earthquake to about $550 million, urging governments to provide funds quickly.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a donors conference the money is needed urgently to prevent a second wave of deaths. He said the international community has the power to stop the deaths and despair caused by freezing temperatures and disease and by lack of shelter, food and water.

The donors meeting in Geneva came as aftershocks continued to rattle the region. A magnitude 5.2 aftershock shook several Pakistani cities, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

In Pakistan the focus is on delivering the relief supplies. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator says disaster is "looming large" if relief supplies do not soon reach people left homeless in remote mountain villages by the October 8 quake. The harsh winter season is just weeks away, and snow will block supply routes.

The death toll in Pakistan now stands at more than 5,400 people, and officials fear thousands of more people could die without tents, food and other supplies.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.