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South Asia - Earthquake Fact Sheet #34, Fiscal Year (FY) 2006



Note: The last fact sheet was dated January 6, 2006.


A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan on October 8, 2005, at 8:50 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the earthquake was located near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and approximately 60 miles north-northeast of Islamabad.

Aftershocks continue in the affected areas. The delivery of humanitarian assistance is constricted by the mountainous area, cold weather, and damaged or collapsed infrastructure. The most affected areas are the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Northern Punjab, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in Pakistan, and Indian-administered Kashmir in India.

Numbers at a Glance(1)
Pakistan 73,338 dead
69,412 injured
2.8 million homeless
Government of Pakistan (GOP) - January 13
GOP - January 13
International Organization for Migration (IOM) - October 21
India 1,309 dead
6,622 injured
150,000 homeless
Government of India (GOI) - October 26
GOI - October 26
GOI - October 14

USG Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance Pledged(2): $510,000,000
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Pakistan: $59,611,747
Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance Committed to Pakistan: $66,611,747
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance Committed to India: $600,662
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Committed to South Asia: $83,212,409


In response to the recent snow and rainfall, the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) conducted aerial assessments of areas in and around Muzaffarabad on January 6 and 7. The USAID/DART observed little evidence of collapsed tents at elevations above or below 5,000 feet and reported that the inclement weather affected populations at lower elevations, where rain flooded some tents and saturated clothing and bedding, more than populations at higher elevations, where plastic sheeting over tent roofs and monitoring of snow build-up prevented most tents from collapsing. The USAID/DART continues to work with implementing partners to monitor the effects of the winter weather.

On January 7, the GOP reported that nearly 660,000 sheets of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) have been distributed and nearly 130,000 additional sheets are being delivered to earthquake-affected areas for winterization of shelters. According to the USAID/DART, the GOP has completed distribution of funds for shelter reconstruction to populations whose housing was damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, however many families did not purchase available CGI sheets with the money.

Following an assessment of Muzaffarabad and surrounding areas in AJK between January 3 and 7, the USAID/DART reported that access to drinking water in remote areas remains limited. Affected populations travel up to 2 kilometers to find water sources, and families experience difficulty collecting wood to melt snow for water. The USAID/DART observed that water systems in earthquake-affected areas at higher elevations are not functioning. To address water needs in less accessible areas, the USAID/DART shared simple solar technologies with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM plans to educate communities on using solar technologies to melt snow.

Between January 5 and 7, the USAID/DART Livelihoods Officer (LO) met with USAID partners operating livelihoods programs in Mansehra District and reported that local populations prioritized reconstruction of homes above establishing businesses and replenishing assets. According to the USAID/DART LO, skilled laborers wanted to learn how to construct earthquake-resistant shelters, and women expressed interest in acquiring income-generation skills like embroidery and sewing. The USAID/DART is working with implementing partners to meet livelihoods needs.

According to the USAID/DART Health and Nutrition Officer, health care resources, including infectious disease control, basic clinical care, and disease surveillance, are largely concentrated in urban areas. The USAID/DART is working to identify appropriate interventions and partners to address health care needs in remote locations.

The USAID/DART has not observed or confirmed reports of large migrations of earthquake-affected populations following the first bout of severe winter weather.



From December 24 through January 9, USAID airlifted 50,255 additional blankets to support the ongoing winterization efforts for earthquake-affected populations. The total value of the commodities and transport is more than $600,000. To date, USAID has provided nearly $6.3 million in emergency relief commodities, including transport costs, for earthquakeaffected populations in Pakistan. USAID has completed 25 flights of emergency relief commodities to Pakistan. The flights delivered a total of 97,725 blankets, 1,570 winterized tents, 8,050 rolls of plastic sheeting for approximately 36,672 families, 15,000 water containers, 17 water bladders, 2 water purification units, 10 U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) emergency health kits, 20 concrete cutting saws, and 136 shelters donated by Alaska Shelters.

At the Donors Conference on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Earthquake Affected Areas in Islamabad on November 19, USAID Administrator Andrew S. Natsios announced an increase in the overall U.S. commitment to Pakistan for relief and reconstruction to a total of $510 million. This pledge includes $300 million in economic assistance from the USG, $110 million in U.S. military in-kind support for relief operations, and more than $100 million anticipated from U.S. private contributions. On December 15, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Former President George H. W. Bush as the U.N. Special Envoy for the South Asia Earthquake Disaster to ensure that donor countries honor pledges made at the conference.

On October 27, President George W. Bush established the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund (SAERF) headed by five private-sector chief executive officers (CEOs) to spearhead private fundraising efforts for relief and reconstruction in the aftermath of the South Asia earthquake. To date, the SAERF has collected approximately $16 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the South Asia earthquake relief efforts.

The USAID/DART has been on the ground in Pakistan since October 10. The mission of the USAID/DART is to assess humanitarian needs, assist with targeting and coordination of USG assistance in conjunction with USAID/Pakistan, and provide technical support as needed. Headquartered in Islamabad, the USAID/DART has also established bases of operations in Muzaffarabad and Mansehra.

To date, USAID has provided more than $66.6 million in humanitarian assistance to earthquake-affected communities in Pakistan. USAID identified shelter, relief supplies, logistics, health, water and sanitation, and livelihoods support as priority sectors for relief operations.

In addition to the provision of sheets of tarpaulin, blankets, and winterized and non-winterized tents in support of the overall shelter strategy, USAID funded eight NGO partners to provide shelter assistance to approximately 75,500 households.

In response to the U.N. South Asia Earthquake Flash Appeal, USAID has provided more than $22.6 million in funding to support transitional shelter programs, food, health, water and sanitation, humanitarian air service, logistical coordination, and the transport of supplies to affected populations and movement of those populations to safe areas.

To date, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has responded to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) emergency operation for Pakistan with 4,990 MT of vegetable oil and 480 MT of wheat soy blend. The total value of this contribution is approximately $6.7 million.

As of January 12, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) is contributing $4 million to UNHCR to support activities identified in the 2005 U.N. South Asia Earthquake Flash Appeal. Specific activities include the establishment and management of camps and spontaneous settlements for earthquakeaffected populations and the provision of essential relief supplies such as tents, blankets, and stoves to camp residents.

As of January 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided 46,000 MT of wheat, valued at $12 million, to the GOP. This wheat will be distributed to food-insecure families lacking the financial means to purchase food.

On October 20, USAID and Procter & Gamble announced a $600,000 public-private alliance to provide safe drinking water for those affected by the earthquake. Through this partnership, USAID and Proctor & Gamble are supplying a point-of-use water purification product that significantly reduces diarrheal illnesses. Through the Global Development Alliance (GDA), USAID contributed $300,000 toward this partnership, which provides safe drinking water to more than 50,000 households for 3 months.

As of January 11, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has flown 3,295 helicopter missions, delivered 8,485 short tons of humanitarian relief supplies, and evacuated casualties and transported humanitarian relief workers for a total of 18,406 passengers. The 212th MASH, established on October 25 in Muzaffarabad, and a 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force medical element, established on November 16 in Shinkiari, have performed more than 426 surgeries and treated more than 21,223 non-surgical patients. To date, DOD has obligated $102 million for relief operations.


From October 11 to 17, a USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor was in India assisting USAID/India with damage and needs assessments and making recommendations regarding USG assistance. The USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor and a representative from USAID/India conducted a post-earthquake visit to Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on November 15 and 16 in order to monitor program progress of USAID/OFDA-funded partners.

On October 10, U.S. Ambassador to India David C. Mulford issued a disaster declaration due to the effects of the October 8 earthquake in northern India. As of November 1, USAID has provided more than $600,000 to relief organizations for emergency relief supplies and shelter.

The Government of India did not request international assistance.

MAP: South Asia earthquake 2005: USAID programs (as of 13 Jan 2006)


(1) These figures are the best available estimates.

(2) This pledge includes $300 million in economic assistance from the USG, $110 million in U.S. military in-kind support for relief operations, and at least $100 million anticipated from U.S. private contributions.

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