Pakistan: 32,000 quake victims need shelter urgently: ICRC

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QUETTA, Nov 8: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that 4,500 families, or about 32,000 people, immediately need shelter in the earthquake-affected areas of Balochistan.

Speaking on behalf of the ICRC at a press conference on Saturday, the Secretary of the Balochistan chapter of Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Maj (retd) Sabir Durrani, said winter tents, blankets, stoves and other relief items were needed immediately in the affected areas.

Andrew James and some other representatives of the ICRC were present on the occasion.

Mr Durrani called for speeding up the relief and rehabilitation operations and said relief goods must reach the affected areas before it started snowing. "It is a race against time," he remarked.

There were 30,000 to 40,000 people who needed relief goods urgently, he said. The families whose houses had been razed or damaged by the quake were spending nights in the open in freezing temperatures.

Maj Durrani said his organisation had set up an office in Ziarat in order to facilitate its relief operations. So far it had distributed 1,878 tents, 9,111 blankets, 1,080 stoves, 1,880 tarpaulin sheets, 1,780 kitchen sets, 1,365 hygiene kits and 3,879 jerry cans among the affected people.

Some 3,000 winter tents had also been distributed.

He said aftershocks of different magnitudes were daily hitting the affected areas, including Wam and Kawas.

The ICRC would continue to operate in the areas until the complete rehabilitation of the quake survivors, he added.

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