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Sunday, October 8, 2006, marked the one-year anniversary of the 7.6 magnitude South Asia Earthquake which killed 73,000 people, injured 200,000 and left over 3 million homeless in Pakistan and India.
Approximately 300,000 victims are still living in substandard conditions (i.e., weathered tents and temporary shelters of stone, wood and corrugated iron sheeting) while only 30% of construction of new homes has been completed.
Operation USA and Islamic Relief/USA announced today that they had jointly sent a 747 cargo jet from New York's JFK Airport to Islamabad, Pakistan to help earthquake victims.
Very little material aid has reached nearly 3 million victims of last month's devastating earthquake.
A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck in Pakistan's North West province on Saturday and is being called the worst earthquake in 100 years on the South Asian continent. Over 100 aftershocks, registering from 4.3 to 6.3, have added to widespread destruction, injuries and deaths.
Up to 30,000 people are feared dead, including 250 girls who were crushed when their school collapsed in the Mansehra district. Entire villages have been destroyed and as more remote areas become accessible, reports of damages and casualties are expected to rise dramatically.
Operation USA has large amounts of medical supplies being made available to other relief agencies working on behalf of Afghan refugees in both Pakistan and Iran. Over many years, Operation USA has supported relief efforts during similar crises - Albania (for refugees from Kosovo), Zaire (Rwanda), Sudan (Ethiopia), Thailand (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos), Honduras (El Salvador) and many places where there are internally displaced people fleeing war or natural disaster.