The military in Pakistan says six soldiers have been killed in the crash of an army helicopter during relief operations in earthquake-devastated Kashmir.

A military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan, says the helicopter crashed Saturday while delivering relief items to the quake victims in otherwise inaccessible areas of the Bagh valley in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

Freezing rain in the region is causing new delays in relief operations and aid agencies say time is running out for thousands of survivors. Downpours have grounded helicopters, preventing much needed supplies from reaching remote areas.

So far, the earthquake has claimed nearly 40,000 lives in Pakistan and over 1,400 in India. But relief agencies say that if survivors do not get proper shelter soon, a second catastrophe could be just weeks away.

The Dalai Lama has joined those offering financial aid to the region. The Tibetan Buddhist leader-in-exile is donating tens of thousands of dollars to Pakistan and India.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.