South Asia Earthquake: Fact Sheet #25 (FY 2006)
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, on October 8, 2005, at 8:50 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the earthquake was located near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and approximately 60 miles north-northeast of Islamabad.
Aftershocks continue in the affected areas. The delivery of humanitarian assistance is constricted by the mountainous area, cold weather, and damaged or collapsed infrastructure. The most affected areas are the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Northern Punjab, and Pakistani-administered Kashmir in Pakistan, and Indian-administered Kashmir in India.
|NUMBERS AT A GLANCE(1)||
2.8 million homeless
|Government of Pakistan (GOP) - November
GOP - November 15
International Organization for Migration (IOM) - October 21
|Government of India (GOI) - October
GOI - October 26
GOI - October 14
USAID Humanitarian and Reconstruction
Assistance Pledged: $100,000,000
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Pakistan: $51,122,942
Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Pakistan: $54,849,542
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance Committed to India: $600,662
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Committed to South Asia: $55,450,204
Direct and indirect losses to crops, livestock, and irrigation infrastructure as a result of the earthquake total more than $440 million, according to the findings of a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assessment released on November 16. In addition, 200,000 livestock have died as a result of the earthquake.
According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Mansehra, people are continuing to descend from higher elevations to the valleys. However, some people have expressed a reluctance to settle in organized camps stating that movement may be more restricted in camps managed by the GOP, whereas spontaneous camps allow more freedom and displaced persons can also keep their livestock with them.
The USAID/Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) reports that the Pakistani military has assumed a great deal of responsibility in the relief efforts and performed well under difficult circumstances. The Pakistani military has also been keen to learn from the humanitarian community regarding best practices in addressing technical issues such as camp management, relief commodity distribution, and water and sanitation interventions.
On November 15, the U.N. released the Early Recovery Framework (ERF), a complement to the assessment conducted by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. The ERF includes specific program interventions and estimated costs for each sector for the next 12 to 18 months. The U.N.'s preliminary cost estimate for early recovery activities is $398 million.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a U.N. inter-agency needs assessment traveled to Lipa Valley, below Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu Kashmir. Despite sustaining less physical destruction than some other areas, OCHA notes that the population of the Lipa Valley is particularly vulnerable due to extreme poverty, an underdeveloped health system, and difficult access.
OCHA reports that shelter cluster members are currently determining how to complement the 200,000 sheets of corrugated galvanized iron planned for distribution by the Pakistani military in order to provide a complete shelter kit for repair and reconstruction of homes.
On November 16, the GOI and the GOP opened the fifth crossing point on the Line of Control between India and Pakistan for the delivery of relief items. The five points are: Nauseri-Tithwal, Chakoti-Uri, Hajipir-Uri, Rawalakot-Poonch and Tattapani-Mendhar.
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