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08 Dec 2008 description

QUETTA: The first winter rains and snowfall have worsened the situation in the earthquake stricken areas of district Ziarat, where thousands of quake survivors, including women and children are living in tents in the chilly weather.

They lost their houses and loved ones when a strong earthquake struck many parts of northern and central Balochistan.

The season's first rains started in Ziarat, Quetta, Pishin, and other parts of Balochistan on Saturday evening and continued till Sunday morning.

Survivors spent a sleepless night since rain water entered many tents and strong wind …

07 Dec 2008 description

QUETTA, Dec 7: Thousands of earthquake survivors in parts of Ziarat spent a sleepless night on Saturday, as incessant rain, coupled with cold winds triggered by snowfall on mountains, served to compound their woes.

Water from Saturday night and Sunday morning's rain entered tents of many quake survivors, forcing them out in the open.

"The tents provided to us failed to protect our children and other family members from rain and chilly weather," Mohammad Akhtar told Dawn by telephone from Waam.

05 Dec 2008 description

QUETTA, Dec 5: Unicef has set up 76 temporary centres for reviving education activities in earthquake-affected areas of Balochistan.

Under the programme, about 3,800 children will get education in 46 centres in Ziarat, 24 in Pishin and seven in Harnai districts.

According to Dr Mohammad Younas Mengal, who heads the Unicef office in Balochistan, 437 schools were damaged by the quake in four districts of the province.

Attendance in primary schools has dropped to less than five per cent.

Dr Younas said that Unicef was also providing clean water and had vaccinated over 8,000 …

28 Nov 2008 description

Quetta: The State Bank of Pakistan has converted Balochistan's over draft of Rs17.5 billion into a soft loan that would be payable over six years.

The former PML-Q led coalition government had obtained around Rs18 billion over draft from the State Bank crossing the limit of its loan facility from the central bank due to increasing provincial expenditures.

Official sources said on Friday that by converting the over draft into soft loans, the Balochistan government would save Rs700 to 800 million annually, which it was paying to the Sate Bank as markup.

The Provincial Secretary …

23 Nov 2008 description

By Our Staff Correspondent

QUETTA, Nov 23: Individuals and public and private organisations entities have so far donated more than Rs2.35 billion in the Chief Minister's Relief and Rehabilitation

Fund for people affected by the recent earthquake in Balochistan.

Donors include the federal government, provincial governments, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government, private companies, NGOs, philanthropists and the common man.

23 Nov 2008 description

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Nov 23: Turkey has sent 120 'container homes' worth $1 million for people affected by the recent earthquake in Ziarat.

Turkish Ambassador Engin Soysal handed over the 'homes' to Balochistan Information Minister Mohammad Younas Mulazai in the worst-hit area of Wam on Sunday.

Each 'container home' has four bedrooms, a kitchen, a washroom and a store. A team of Turkish experts has arrived for installing the shelters.The ambassador said the Turkish government would provide more shelters.

21 Nov 2008 description

ISLAMABAD, Nov 21: The government of Turkey has donated $1 million for the earthquake-affected people of Balochistan.

Turkish Ambassador Engin Soysal gave the cheque for the amount to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here on Friday.

Mr Soysal said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had directed the Turkish Red Crescent and other philanthropic organisations to mobilise relief efforts for the quake-hit areas.

Prime Minister Gilani appreciated the Turkish government's gesture and said the two countries always stood by each other in times of trial.

Mr Gilani said his …

21 Nov 2008 description

THE Government of Italy is providing 400,000 Euros for people affected by the Balochistan earthquake. A relief package was announced by Foreign Minister Franco Frattini as a gesture of solidarity comprising Euros250,000 being provided through the Directorate of Cooperation and Development to the International Committee of Red Cross and Euros150,000 through Farnesina to the International Federation of the Red Cross Organisations.

19 Nov 2008 description

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: Acting President Dr Fehmida Mirza ordered on Wednesday to expand the ambit of the special oversight committee for displaced persons of Bajaur tribal areas to the quake-hit areas after irregularities were found in distribution of relief goods.

Presiding over a meeting of the committee, she said that relief operation in the quake-affected areas of Balochistan must be monitored.

The meeting was reportedly informed that relief goods in adequate quantities had been sent from the centre but people were still complaining about non-availability of relief …

17 Nov 2008 description

WAAM, Nov 17: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Monday that all houses destroyed by the recent earthquake in Balochistan would be rebuilt and the centre had released Rs2.9 billion for the purpose.

Addressing a gathering in the worst-affected village of Waam in Ziarat district, he said the government would do everything possible to rehabilitate the affected people.The prime minister gave Rs350,000 cheque to each of the affected people.

"It is the government's responsibility to help people rebuild their houses," he said, adding that reconstruction would …

09 Nov 2008 description

QUETTA, Nov 8: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that 4,500 families, or about 32,000 people, immediately need shelter in the earthquake-affected areas of Balochistan.

Speaking on behalf of the ICRC at a press conference on Saturday, the Secretary of the Balochistan chapter of Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Maj (retd) Sabir Durrani, said winter tents, blankets, stoves and other relief items were needed immediately in the affected areas.

Andrew James and some other representatives of the ICRC were present on the occasion.

Mr Durrani called for speeding up …

07 Nov 2008 description

QUETTA, Nov 6: All government and private schools in Quetta will start functioning on Friday but classes will be held in the grounds and not in buildings.

The schools were closed after the Oct 29 earthquake.

An official statement issued on Thursday directed heads of the schools to hold annual examinations from Nov 12 and complete them by the end of the month.-Correspondent

06 Nov 2008 description

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday announced Rs300,000 for the dead and Rs100,000 for injured of the recent earthquake in Ziarat, and Pishin, Balochistan. The Prime Minister would personally distribute the compensation to the quake affected families during his visit to the calamity-hit province.

It is in addition to Rs200,000 for dead and Rs50,000 for injured announced by the President Asif Ali Zaradri.

The Prime Minister directed to expedite the survey of the demolished houses.

05 Nov 2008 description

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Nov 5: Frontier Corps Inspector-General Maj-Gen Saleem Nawaz has said that political workers are creating hurdles in earthquake relief operation by stopping their rivals from going to areas of their influence.

Talking to newsmen after visiting the affected areas of Ziarat district on Wednesday, he appealed to political parties to help the government in the relief operation.

"An unnecessary race has started between the parties for political gains and their workers are stopping each other from carrying out relief work and are also creating problems for …

02 Nov 2008 description

By Saleem Shahid

WAM/ZIARAT, Nov 2: People rendered homeless by last week's earthquake are in desperate need for proper shelter to survive harsh the winter, rains and snowfall.

Thousands of people in Wam and Ziarat complained that tents provided to them did not protect them from the freezing cold weather, and their children had fallen prey to various diseases, including pneumonia and chest infections.

They said that the weather would worsen in a few days.

Several tent villages set up near the villages flattened by the quake are creating various sociological …

02 Nov 2008 description

By Iftikhar A. Khan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: Thousands of quake-affected people in Balochistan are still waiting for winterised tents with temperatures dropping below freezing point at nights and threat of snowstorms looming large.

Talking to Dawn, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Gen Farooq Ahmad Khan conceded that no winterised tents had so far been sent to the affected areas.

"We have tried to compensate it by sending a huge quantity of blankets and getting the gas connections restored on a war footing," he said.

02 Nov 2008 description

By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: The government has decided to provide an amount of Rs25,000 and 15 CGI sheets to each family in Balochistan's quake-hit areas for reconstruction of mud-houses because tents would not protect people from the snowstorm likely to hit the area in a few weeks.

Briefing Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on the relief and rehabilitation work here on Sunday, National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Farooq Ahmed Khan said that blankets, quilts, tents, warm jackets, plastic bags and food items were being provided by the …

31 Oct 2008 description

By Iftikhar A. Khan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: Chinese Ambassador Luo Zahao called on President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday and presented a cheque for one million US dollars for the people affected by Wednesday's earthquake in Balochistan.

The ambassador said that leaders and the people of China were saddened by the calamity.

President Zardari thanked the Chinese government for the help.

31 Oct 2008 description

ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz announced on Friday an aid of $100 million for the quake-affected people of Balochistan.

Korea offered $100,000 in relief goods, including tents, blankets and towels.

Chinese Ambassador Luo Zahao handed over a cheque for $50,000 on behalf of the China Red Cross to Pakistan Red Crescent Society Chairman Saeed Ahmad Qureshi.

The ambassador said the government and people of China were with their Pakistani brethren in their hour of need.

The PRCS chairman thanked the ambassador for the Chinese help.

He said the PRCS was in …

30 Oct 2008 description

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: The government asked the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) on Thursday to send 10,000 bags of relief goods to the earthquake-affected areas of Balochistan.

The directive was issued at a meeting convened by Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik to assess the pace of relief work.

The USC relief bags will contain foodstuff and stoves.

Mr Malik said the centre would fully support the Balochistan government at this difficult hour.

The meeting was attended by PPP Balochistan President Sardar Lashkari Raisani, Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah, National …