ICRC - Pakistan earthquakes - 29 Oct 2008

Dear colleagues,

Please find below initial information about the earthquakes in Pakistan and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) action and plans for immediate response.

Two ICRC teams have reached the affected area. They are on the spot assessing the situation and needs. Our colleagues tell us that aftershocks were continuing and that frightened residents were staying outdoors in the cold.

The affected districts are Pashin, Ziarat, Killa Saifullah and Harnai. It is a hilly region with several blocked roads. The total population of Ziarat district is estimated at around 50,000. It is a sparsely populated area.

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has sent two teams to the earthquake-hit region to distribute relief supplies for 100 families. The team includes 28 staff and volunteers, as well as two mobile health teams. ICRC intends to send medical kits to the region. A surgical and medical team will fly from Peshawar early on Thursday.

The ICRC is working closely with the PRCS and stands ready to increase its humanitarian response to those in need. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is also sending a support team to the region, including a disaster management expert, a health specialist and an information officer.

We will be issuing a news release soon with more precise information on the situation and the immediate needs.

Media contacts:

ICRC Geneva, Carla Haddad Mardini, Mobile: +41 79 217 3226 or +41 22 730 2405

ICRC Geneva, Anna Nelson, Mobile: +41 79 217 3264

ICRC Islamabad: Marco Succi, Mobile: +92 300 850 81 38