Afghanistan + 2 more

Pakistan, India - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 8

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0169
OCHA Situation Report No. 8
South Asia (Pakistan and India) - Earthquake

This report is based on the information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator's (UN RC) Office in Islamabad, Governments, agencies and donors in Pakistan, as well as the UN RC's Office in New Delhi.

GENERAL SITUATION

1. Assessment teams are returning from Muzaffarabad and other affected areas and continue to report unbelievable destruction. Buildings are flattened and there are scores of injured people with compound fractures, infected wounds, and traumatic amputations.

2. It has been emphasized that injuries are so severe that in addition to basic first aid, trauma first aid is necessary. Mobile surgical teams are being deployed, but surgeons, more field hospitals, paramedics, and appropriate medicines (especially antibiotics and typhoid vaccines) are needed.

3. Relief items, especially winterised tents, heating equipment, and medicines must be received quickly in order to avert a secondary catastrophe. Prevention of epidemics is especially important. Additional health personnel are urgently required.

4. Although conditions on the main roads and access to affected populations is improving, with a lack of information about migration patterns and numbers out of affected areas, relief operations still rely heavily on air support to reach affected populations. Many more helicopters are needed.

5. Sporadic looting of relief stocks has been reported. This is generally thought to reflect the desperate needs of the population, rather than criminal violence.

6. Some agencies are facing difficulties in contracting road transport and transport rates are reportedly increasing.

7. The Government reports that telephone networks in the affected areas are being slowly re-established. However obtaining licenses to utilize radio frequencies in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and custom clearances of in-coming telecomm equipment is a concern.

8. It is extremely important that relief teams entering the area respect established coordinated mechanisms to ensure equity in distribution of relief supplies.

9. During a Member States briefing held in Geneva today, two days after the launching of the UN Flash Appeal, numerous donors announced new financial and in-kind contributions. The rapid receipt of these pledges is critical.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

10. The response is gathering pace as the emphasis of response efforts shifts from Search and Rescue to emergency relief. The Government is moving two Divisions of the Pakistani Army into NWFP and Pakistani Administered Kashmir and establishing five advanced staging posts (Bagh, Muzaffarabad, Mansehra, Rajikot, Balakot) for facilitation and distribution.

Immediate Needs

11. The urgent priority needs, as announced by the Government on Wednesday, 12 October, are as follows:

- Helicopters

- 50,000 winterised family tents (only some 5, 000 have been distributed to date);

- 1,000,000 blankets;

- Medicine: typhoid drugs and antibiotics (in syrup form for infants);

- Disinfectants (for bodies);

- Water purification kits and tablets;

- Food (cooked and tinned, high energy biscuits).

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

Coordination

12. Individual cluster meetings are taking place with increasing regularity. An Education Cluster has now also been created. In addition, a Clusters Focal Points' meeting takes place daily. Importantly, these will also include the Government and military representatives. This composition would provide an opportunity and a forum for strategic coordination and civil-military inter-action.

13. All minutes of cluster meetings and lists of participants, as well as meetings' schedule will be posted on www.un.org.pk.

Emergency Shelter

14. Estimates indicate that there may be up to 1 million IDPs in Pakistan following the earthquake. In addition, the process of receiving, transporting, and distributing shelter relief has been slow. The main challenge relates to procurement (shortage of shelter items on local markets), transportation (shortage of trucks, customs), lack of funding, and weather conditions which hamper distribution. A number of assessment reports are still pending including the rapid assessment of Mansehra by the American Refugee Committee in the next 24 hours.

15. Of the 50,000 tents requested by the Government, only some 5, 000 have been distributed to-date. Blankets and sleeping bags are also in short supply as weather conditions worsen.

16. Relief International has delivered 2,500 shelter items goods to Mansehra. UNHCR has donated 100 tents to the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees. IOM's 300 tents are to be distributed in partnership with Islamic Relief in and around Muzaffarabad. Relief International will distribute 2,500 blankets in Balakot. 1,000 tents located in UNHCR in Quetta are to be sent to Abbotabad and Mansehra. The Norwegian Church Aid, in partnership with Church Royal Service, will distribute 1,600 shelter kits (shelter kit composition: 1 family size tent, 4 blankets and a food package) in Balakot.

17. Items such as tents, blankets and kerosene stoves are arriving in Islamabad on Thursday and are scheduled for distribution to affected areas on Friday. Japan Emergency Networks are receiving blankets and winter clothing from Japan.

Nutrition

18. The nutrition cluster team has been elaborating distribution plans for the WFP's High Energy Biscuits. Partner NGOs are currently providing details of their geographic presence, management, distribution and storage capacities.

Health

19. The immediate objective is the identification of affected remote rural areas, which have not been accessed as yet. Additional health personnel are urgently required. Medications for chronic diseases (particularly for children) are in short supply. Electricity shortages affect cold chain for vaccine, tetanus and other medicines.

20. WHO plans to produce maps of the locations of field hospitals and other health facilities for all emergency teams.

21. A measles campaign has been initiated for children up to 15 years in the main effected area. Malaria control officers have been mobilized to control insect vectors. Several trauma teams and primary health facilities have been set up by IFRC, Agha Khan Foundation, MDM France, AMDA, Concern, Mercy Corps and MSF Belgium. WHO sent 4 trucks with medical supplies, including 11 generators, for health facilities in Mansehra and Muzaffarabad. Pakistan Institute for Medical Science (PIMS) in Islamabad has treated approximately 1,000 earthquake victims to date.

Logistics

22. The main challenge at this stage remains that of transportation/road accessibility and traffic overload. Some agencies are facing difficulties in contracting road transport and transport rates are reportedly increasing. Mapping of district level NGO partners for channelling food and non-food aid together needs to be undertaken soonest. Cold chain facilities need to be assessed urgently. In order to minimize congestion, it is recommended that supplies be allocated and distributed quickly.

23. It has been agreed that information concerning requirements and needs must be shared through the UN website www.un.org.pk. UNJLC will play a role in consolidating the information and prioritise the needs. Protocol will be reviewed by the UNCT based on requirements.

24. WFP has 32 UN trucks in country and are awaiting the arrival of an additional 40 vehicles, to be used mainly for food deliveries. IOM has made arrangements for 20 trucks, which would be available to assist other agencies and NGOs if required.

25. The need for storage of humanitarian assistance at staging areas in the major affected towns has been identified. WFP will mobilise storage tents immediately for this purpose as required. MDM is requesting assistance for the storage of 20 MTs of medical supplies at the airport. UNAMA is allocating 15 light vehicles to be received by WFP in Peshawar and allocated to Agencies and NGOs.

Camp Management

26. The main challenge at this stage is the lack of information about migration patterns and numbers out of affected areas. In the next 24 hours, implementing NGOs' exact roles and areas of responsibility will be further defined.

27. UNHCR estimates its caseload to be in the region of 500,000. UNHCR has been reviewing capability of partner NGOs (American Refugee Committee, Oxfam and World Vision) and modalities of delivery, as well as pre-requisites for camp set-up, including Government permission for land use, and a need for qualified local partners. UNHCR has been reviewing in-country stocks and investigating possible camp locations west of Mansehra.

Protection

28. UNICEF Child Protection Officer continues to monitor the children currently sheltered in the PIMS hospital, evacuated from the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. UNICEF is holding discussions with the National Committee for Child Welfare and Development/Ministry of Social Welfare and with local NGOs (SAHIL and ROZAN) on the future of the children and their families once they are released from the hospital. The UNICEF Child Protection Officer is in Balakot for a child protection rapid assessment.

Information Technology

29. The main issues of concern at this stage are obtaining licenses to utilize radio frequencies in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and custom clearances of in-coming telecomm equipment.

30. Three IT staff have been mobilized and an advance of USD 100,000 has been made available from WFP special funds to facilitate the implementation of the Security Telecoms project. UNICEF will be setting up the IT infrastructure for inter-agency activities including VSAT, wireless networks, etc. One local service provider's offer to provide VSAT connectivity in affected areas is currently under discussion.

Other Developments

31. As of 12 October 2005, 31 Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) countries have offered assistance to Pakistan on bilateral basis. The first NATO cargo with donations from Slovenia is expected in Islamabad today.

India - Jammu and Kashmir

Situation

32. On 12 October 2005, the weather conditions in the State have suddenly worsened due to widespread rains in the valley. The temperature in the quake-affected areas in Uri and Tangdhar has also started plummeting. This is causing difficulties in the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the State, adding to the problems faced by the affected population.

33. Official reports confirm 1,280 death, 14 missing and 5,944 injuries. Damage assessment reports state that 32,723 buildings have been completely or partially damaged.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

34. The Indian Government has not requested international assistance.

35. The Ministry of Home Affairs Control Room is functioning round-the-clock and is closely monitoring the situation caused by the earthquake in the affected parts of the country. The Home Secretary held an Inter-Ministerial Coordination meeting to review the availability of relief material and measures adopted for their transportation from different parts of the country to the affected areas for quick placement and distribution in quake-affected areas.

36. On 11th October an Inter-Ministerial Central Team was assigned to the State to undertake on-the-spot assessments of the damage caused by the earthquake, and requirements for funds.

General Information

37. The latest information on projects and funding for the Flash Appeal, and for the emergency overall, can be found on the Financial Tracking Service (http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/reportlist.asp?section=CE&record_ID=688).

38. Further information on earthquake appeals and funding is available on ReliefWeb (http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc105?OpenForm&rc=3&emid=EQ-2005-000174-PAK).

39. Contact details of focal points for information on in-kind and cash contributions can be found at http://earthquake05.un.org.pk/.

40. OCHA will revert with further information as it becomes available. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

MAP: South Asia (Pakistan, India): Earthquake - Situation map (PDF format, 1,422 KB)

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