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Pakistan, India - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 4

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0157
OCHA Situation Report No. 4
South Asia (Pakistan and India) - Earthquake
09 October 2005
Pakistan

Situation

1. An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, which occurred on 8 October 2005, has affected large areas in northern Pakistan. Massive destruction has taken place in six northern districts of North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), five districts of Azad of Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), including Muzaffarabad.

2. Casualty figures are difficult to predict, with estimates of deaths today ranging between 18,000 and 30,000. Although neither figure can be confirmed, high figures are to be expected.

3. The region faces enormous logistical difficulties with all roads cut until one road was opened to light vehicles since late in the afternoon. Hence relief supplies and assessments to Muzaffarabad, one of the most affected areas, can only be undertaken using scarce and limited air resources, mainly helicopters.

Emergency Requirements

4. According to preliminary estimates, priority needs include winterised tents for up to 2.5 million affected people in AJK and 2 million affected people in NWFP. Other priorities for relief assistance at this stage are blankets, stoves, field hospitals, and water purification equipment as well as heavy load helicopters.

National Response

5. The Pakistan military has been charged with the responsibility of coordinating the emergency response for the government and is running a fleet of helicopters, overwhelmed by enormous needs, with emergency supplies in one direction, and casualties in the other. The Red Crescent Society has sent 2 assessment teams to the area and Pakistan's national Emergency Relief Cell is dispatching relief supplies to the affected areas by road.

6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating bilaterally with the countries offering disaster relief to Pakistan for the major earthquake disaster. The contact number for offers of assistance is +92-51-920 7691.

International Response

7. A UN Flash Appeal is scheduled to be launched on 11 October. OCHA is calling an information sharing meeting with the Permanent Missions and an Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) meeting on 10 October in Geneva.

8. The United Nations Country team, assisted by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) team, in Islamabad from 9 October, set up a Reception Center at the Islamabad airport to receive international Search and Rescue (SAR) teams and other international assistance. It has also set up a Coordination Center at the World Food Programme office in Islamabad and an On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) in Muzaffarabad.

9. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has opened a warehouse in Peshawar to assist earthquake victims, as it assists more than 800,000 refugees in that region, and is organizing logistical support.

10. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has made available its Peshawar warehouse of pre-stocked relief supplies, including 17,000 blankets, 570 pairs of rubber boots for children, 500 children's sweaters, 840 jerry cans of 70 L each, and 8,400 meters of tarpaulin. These supplies are now en route to Mansehra, one of the most affected areas. Additional supplies have been mobilized from warehouse in Karachi, including 300,000 water purification tablets, 10,000 blankets, 1,000 pairs of rubber boots for children, 12,000 sweaters, and 375 cartons of high protein biscuits. These supplies will be flown to Peshawar on 11 October. A convoy is already en route by road, carrying 15 water tanks of 10m3, 20,000 m of tarpaulin, 3,600 bars of soap, 3,900 and 5,200 jerry cans.

11. The WFP has launched a USD 500,000 emergency operation from their immediate response account and provided 200 MT of high-energy biscuits. It is supporting inter-agency operations through their logistics base in Brindisi. Four teams have been deployed to reinforce capacity in logistics and telecommunications, assessments and reporting. Further information on food requirements will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

12. The World Health Organization (WHO) assessment teams, composed of public health, epidemiology, health systems, logistics and water/sanitation specialists, are being deployed to join the country team already in place. A total of 14 international experts are expected to be fully operative shortly. It is supporting the Ministry of Health of Pakistan in planning the national health response.17 national surgical teams have been sent to the most affected districts. These teams consist of surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, anesthetists and operating theatre technicians.

13. UNICEF and WHO are assisting the Ministry of Health to support and equip its first response surgical teams as they are dispatched to remote areas. The team is made up of 17 national medical officers from the Ministry of Health, one WHO and one UNICEF medical doctors and health emergency kits.

14. OCHA is releasing an emergency grant USD 100,000 for immediate assistance needs and is dispatching emergency relief items from its stocks in Brindisi.

15. 12 Urban Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams have arrived in Islamabad and the affected areas from Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Turkey, China, Russia, Netherlands, Singapore, Korea, Greece and Poland. It has been recommended by the UNDAC team in Pakistan that USAR teams, not yet deployed, should stand down.

16. The European Commission (EU) has activated the Civil Protection Mechanism to request EU states' support in providing cargo helicopters for the affected region to operate under EC coordination.

17. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released an initial amount of CHF 200,000 from the Disaster Relief Emergency fund (DREF) to support those affected by the earthquake. A revised Emergency Appeal will be launched.

India - Jammu and Kashmir

18. Official reports confirm death of 319 people and 892 people have sustained injures due to collapse of buildings. The preliminary assessment state damage of 1,496 buildings and houses.

19. Three hundred tents have been provided by the administration in Uri town. The immediate focus is on providing food and shelter, medicines and medical care, food grains and kerosene. The director of health service Kashmir division has deployed medical teams and essential medicines in Kupwara and Baramulla districts.

20. The Directorate of Health Services is coordinating medical relief and has deployed a medical response team of 30 members comprising of physicians, surgeons, anesthetists, and orthopedic surgeons. Indian Red Cross Society of Jammu and Kashmir Branch is assessing the requirements for relief activities. The districts administration has started conducting damage assessment of the affected districts.

21. The Government of India has not requested international assistance.

22. Donors and recipient agencies are encouraged to report all humanitarian funding and in-kind contributions for this emergency to the humanitarian Financial Tracking Service (fts@reliefweb.int, www.reliefweb.int/fts), to allow a complete picture of response to needs. Current contributions are found at the FTS list at: ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/daily/ocha_R10_E14961___05100821.pdf

23. 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, 602 KB)

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Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Ms. Merete Johansson, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1694
Ms. Masayo Kondo, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1997
Mr. Masaaki Nakagawa, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 4034

Press contact: (GVA)Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653 - (N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. + 1-917 367 5126

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