Pakistan: Earthquake in Balochistan -DREF operation n° MDRPK009

Summary:

An earthquake of 7.7-magnitude hit the southwestern region of Pakistan on Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 16:29hr Pakistan Standard Time (PST) with a focal depth of 10 kilometres (kms) affecting approximately 300,000 people.

Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is on the ground to conduct initial assessment and provide emergency health support. IFRC, in supporting PRCS, is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and other PNSs present in the country to ensure resources and support services are available when required.

This DREF operation will support PRCS relief operations to deliver immediate assistance with the provision of emergency health services and distributions of food packets, non-food items (NFIs) and emergency shelter supplies, . The NFIs and shelter supplies are being provided out of existing PRCS pre-positioned stocks. The DREF will cover transport and distribution costs of these items but not the costs of replenishing these stocks.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by December 2013; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by March 2014).

The situation

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern region of Pakistan on Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 16:29hr Pakistan Standard Time (PST) with a focal depth of 10 kilometres (kms). At least 15 aftershocks have been reported with a magnitude up to 5.7 at 17:45hr PST on the same day. The epicenter lies in a thinly populated mountainous area of Balochistan province (approximately 5 persons per square km), 66 kms north-east from Awaran district capital, with tremors felt in neighboring Sindh province, but also as far as India, Iran, UAE and Oman. The six affected districts in Balochistan province included Kech (also known as Turbat), Panjgor, Chagi, Khuzdar, Gawadar and Awaran. Awaran district has been most severely impacted with all three Tehsils of Awaran, Mashkay and Jhaho affected.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Balochistan on 26 September at 11:31hr PST has reported 355 people dead and another 619 people injured (from Awaran and Kech districts). Although the extent of the damages and losses are yet to be confirmed, the latest information indicates that approximately 21,000 houses (mostly of mud-brick construction) have been destroyed or damaged, and 300,000 people affected. The figure is likely to rise when more information is available. It was estimated that around 300,00 people are living within 100 km radius of the epicenter of the earthquake. The affected population are extremely scattered over a large geographical area (more than 21,000 sq. km). Many affected population are already living without shelter under temperature reaching 40-42 degree Celcius during the day and changing weather condition as winter is approaching. The in-country Shelter Cluster is in the discussion on possible mobilization of stocks available in country, including winterized items which will be needed in the coming months.

The remoteness along with security concerns in the area is likely to slow the ability to gather accurate and comprehensive damage assessment information. There have been two rocket attack incidents in the past two days targeting a helicopter with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman visiting Maskay Tehsil (Awaran), and another a medical team travelling by road to Awaran. No casualty was reported in both incidents; however this heightened the security concern for any humanitarian response in the affected areas.