Earthquake Relief Response, Mirpur, AJK
1. Executive Summary
On 24 September 2019, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 struck Pakistan-administrated Kashmir with its epicenter 5 km north of Jehlum, Punjab, Pakistan. Several aftershocks were also felt which caused more havoc in the area. In Kashmir District Mirpur, Bhimber, and District Jehlum of Punjab experienced severe damage to infrastructure, house, schools and roads. The casualties reached 39 and more than 700 injured. Children, women and elderly people were among the most affected. The earthquake destroyed more than 500 houses and damaged more than 4000 houses. District Mirpur was one of the most severely affected, where 34 died and hundreds were injured. In addition to the loss of livelihoods opportunities, the earthquake damaged infrastructure (roads, water supply schemes, power supply etc.), houses and animal shelters especially in the rural areas of these hard-hit districts.
Roads, bridges, houses, plazas, and roads were damaged. The 14-kilometre road from Kharri Shareef towards Jatlan was badly affected by the earthquake. Commercial areas were immediately shut down, and the electricity supply wassuspended after the earthquake. Information and communication system suspended due to damaged infrastructure.
Responding to Immediate Needs
Immediately after the earthquake, PMS’s emergency response team was in the field to assess the damage and needs of the communities. In three days (25-27 September) completed the initial assessment and beneficiary’s identification in most affected areas in District Mirpur. Coordination meetings were also held with State Disaster Management Authority, District government, Army and other stakeholders to avoid the duplication in relief activities. On the request of SDMA PMS ordered for winterized tents to meet the challenges of upcoming cold weather and rain. From Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan, relief goods were prepared and logistics arranged for Mirpur District. On 1 October, 7 days after the earthquake, our Emergency Response Team started distributing winterized tents and bottled water. Within 3 days (1-3 September), 60 households were assisted with winterized tents and more than 100 families with water. In total 60 winterized tents, 120 blankets and 3500 liters, mineral water was distributed among earthquake-affected population in District Mirpur. Entire emergency response was conducted through close coordination with SDMA, District Government, Local NGOs, INGOs and Community groups.
Relief response covered 15 villages in 6 union councils of District Mirpur, AJK.