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MSF team at Asian earthquake zone

MSF has a staff of three who recently arrived in the Pakistani area to start a project on safe motherhood. The focus now is to mobiize more staff and supplies to the region.

An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale struck in the north of Pakistan this morning, just 80 kms north of the Pakistan capital, Islamabad. The affected area runs from the north of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Kashmir.

The damage throughout the affected region is considerable and the number of victims is expected to be high. Immediate media estimates anticipate over 1,000 feared dead.

MSF was already present in the area with three expats in the village of Lamnian in Pakistani Kashmir, some 15 kilometers from the line of control with Indian Kashmir and close to the epicentre of the earthquake. The three are a project coordinator, logistician and nurse and were about to start a project there and were hiring national staff.

The village has been completely destroyed, including the clinic where we are about to start working and the MSF house. The project would focus on safe motherhood. All team members are fine.

The Pakistani army is responding with big logistical/medical capacity

MSF is now focusing to getting reponse capacity to the region. Stocks from Quetta, Dubai and Mumbai will be moved up to the north and MSF is looking into how to get additional resources in the country; cargo as well as people (blankets; jerrycans; sleeping mats and tents)