OCHA - Geneva Natural Disasters Highlights No. 3
South Asia Earthquake, 8 October 2005
On Saturday 8 October 2005, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in Northern Pakistan, its epicenter situated just 95 km. of Islamabad. The initial earthquake and the over 300 aftershocks caused massive destruction in the area and more than 73,000 dead and 69,000 seriously injured. It also affected India and Afghanistan.
Some 2.5 million people are now living in tents or in emergency or transitional shelters below 5000ft. There are still 350,000 - 400,000 people living at higher elevations.
According to the Government, currently there are 502 camps in North West Frontier Province and Pakistan Administered Kashmir with a total population of 187,506. Out of the camps, 30 are planned camps with a population of 36,000 people and are supported by the camp management cluster.
Out of 2.5 million people in need of food assistance, 1 million are covered by WFP, 1.5 million by the Government and 150,000 by ICRC.
Winter is testing the capacity of the humanitarian community. The first significant snow and rainfalls of the year came in at the beginning of January. Tents collapsed under snowfalls affecting both the earthquake-hit populations and relief organizations. The reaction to very bad weather conditions in the first days of January was generally good, but additional unexpected snow below 5000 ft. created serious problems. The response included the prompt distribution of food, tents and blankets. Mortality levels did not increase as a result of this situation but respiratory infection did as temperature dropped. At present, the priorities of the humanitarian community remain: winterized tents, iron sheets, and heating in family and communal tents.
Committed contributions to the UN Flash Appeal, have reached US$ 311 million (56%) out of the US$550 million requested.
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