Pakistan

CWS emergency situation report no. 2: Pakistan earthquake

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SITUATION: At least 350 people are dead from an earthquake in the southwestern Pakistan province of Balochistan, Action by Churches Together reports. Balochistan is Pakistan's largest but most thinly populated province.

The areas hit by the earthquake are Pishin, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Chaman, Loralai, Sibbi and Mastung, with numerous collapsed houses and buildings. Initial reports indicate that 1,800 people are injured and 1,100 homes have been seriously damaged, ACT reports.

Most severely damaged is Ziarat, which is about 30 miles from Quetta and has a population of about 50,000 persons. Eight villages in the hilly Ziarat district have been badly affected and there are still many areas that have not yet been reached by emergency personnel, ACT reports.

RESPONSE: CWS Pakistan/Afghanistan, with offices in Quetta, has a significant operational presence in the region and has already begun a response.

Six CWS staff members and six staff of CWS implementing partner Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) are conducting assessments in the affected villages.

Initial relief items are on the way from the CWS warehouse in Karachi, where they had been pre-positioned. These include 1,000 winterized tents; 4,000 blankets; 4,000 hygiene kits. CWS staff reports that 100 families will be receiving food packages initially.

CWS P/A implemented a major response to an October 2005 earthquake in northwest Pakistan and Kashmir. In the current response, CWS is working with partner and ACT member Norwegian Church Aid.

Further details about the current CWS response will be available in the coming days.

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.

CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151

Program Director: dderr@churchworldservice.org