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High-risk areas in quake zone to be evacuated

Published May 03, 2006 12:00am

MUZAFFARABAD, May 2: Pakistani authorities are preparing to evacuate thousands of survivors of last year’s earthquake amid risks their mountain villages may be washed away by the coming rains, officials said on Tuesday.

The United Nations has said the rains are one of the major challenges for aid agencies as many roads would be blocked by landslides, complicating problems for survivors living in remote mountain areas.

Officials said they were preparing plans to relocate around 2,000 families from 22 villages which have been declared by geologists as highly vulnerable to monsoon rains beginning in July.

Most of these areas are located near Muzaffarabad, the devastated capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, said Ejaz Ahmed Khan, a senior government official in AJK.—Reuters