The quake, measuring 6.5 in magnitude, followed by several aftershocks, the highest at 6.2, struck just northeast of Baluchistan's provincial capital of Quetta and has caused widespread damage in the region. International Medical Corps, which has been operating in Pakistan since 1984, is sending an emergency response team to assess health, shelter, food and water needs and assist in the delivery of medical care and supplies. As winter approaches, those with damaged or destroyed homes face increasing risks from exposure to the cold temperatures. Materials including winterized tents and blankets will be needed for the many left homeless.
Pakistan experiences frequent seismic activity. In 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed more than 75,000 people and left more than three million homeless. International Medical Corps responded to that disaster, dispatching medical and relief teams to the remote, hard-to-reach locations within 12 hours. IMC administered emergency medical care and established basic health units to meet the long-term needs of affected communities.
International Medical Corps' Pakistan assistance programs focus on providing primary and secondary health care services, health education, and basic livelihoods activities for Pakistani communities and for the Afghan refugee population in the Northwest Frontier Province.
Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit our website at www.imcworldwide.org.
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