Earthquake in Balochistan, Pakistan: Health Situation Report No. 2-EQ-08, 01 Nov 2008

Situation Report
Originally published



The National Disaster Management Authority confirms 155 deaths and over 375 people injured. Media reports more than 300 deaths.

Adequate health coverage in all major Quetta hospitals and there is still capacity to accommodate more casualties.

From day one, WHO Polio and DEWS surveillance teams have participated in damage and needs assessments in Ziarat and Pishin districts.

The Department of Health (DoH) dispatched 10 teams to affected districts to vaccinate children and women against measles and tetanus and provide vitamin A to children.

The DoH and Health Cluster partners ensuring provision of care in affected districts.

Emergency Health Cluster meeting on 30 October in Islamabad held to coordinate response activities. Next meeting scheduled for 3 November.


The 28 October 2008 earthquake in Baluchistan caused massive destruction in Ziarat and Pishin districts, some parts of Zhob district and Quetta. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports 155 deaths and more than 375 people injured, with media reporting more than 300 deaths. In affected areas, night temperatures have fallen below freezing.

In Ziarat district (130 000 people), 14 villages in Kawas and Kach Union Councils (35 000 people) are badly affected. Around 12 000 people are displaced.

In Pishin district (475 619 people), Khanozai, Rod Mulazai and Dilsora Union Councils are the most affected.

Recurring aftershocks have prompted some people to move to safer places. The remaining population is living in tents or partially damaged houses. However, there are not enough tents to accommodate all of them, leaving many exposed to harsh cold weather and risk of respiratory diseases.

In Ziarat district, the Frontiers Corps (FC) have established one camp in Wham, hosting 300 people in 30 tents, and another in Warchum, accommodating 280 people in 50 tents. FC also distributed 1000 tents among the affected people.


A joint WHO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA and WFP rapid assessment was conducted in Ziarat and Pishin districts. Preliminary reports showed:

- In Ziarat , 10 of the district's 38 health facilities were damaged: three basic health units (BHUs) were completely damaged and three rural health centres (RHCs) and four BHUs were partially damaged.

- In Pishin, three out of 57 facilities were partially damaged: the Khanozai civil hospital and the civil dispensaries in Dilsora and Rod Mullahzai.

- All Quetta district's hospitals are intact and functional.


Health care services are being provided in tents or the open outside facility buildings due to aftershocks and building damage.

In Ziarat district, the Kawas RHC treated 659 patients between 29-31 October, including 148 for injuries. Fifty-four patients were referred to Quetta hospitals for further management. On 29 October, 81 dead bodies were received at the RHC.

The Ahmadoon RHC, also in Ziarat, treated 217 patients during the same period, including 17 injuries. Five were referred to Quetta hospitals. One dead body was brought to the hospital on 29 October.

The most common causes for consultation are acute respiratory tract infection, post-disaster traumatic stress and injuries. Most patients are women and children.