BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
BACKGROUND AND KEY DEVELOPMENTS
- On October 29 at 0400 hours local time, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck 80 miles northwest of Quetta, in the Balochistan Province of southwestern Pakistan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). To date, USGS reports that the earthquake has been followed by at least 11 aftershocks measuring greater than magnitude 4.0, including one aftershock of 6.4 magnitude.
- The earthquake primarily affected Ziarat and Pishin districts in Balochistan Province, where the Government of Pakistan (GOP) National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports that more than 2,000 houses were destroyed as a result of the earthquake.
- On October 31, U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson issued a request for USAID/OFDA assistance due to the effects of the earthquake. In response, USAID/OFDA allocated an initial $1 million in assistance for earthquake-affected populations.
- In addition, USAID/OFDA deployed a four-person USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) to target USAID/OFDA funding and facilitate U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian assistance. Three members of the USAID/DART are already in-country working with USAID/Pakistan, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, and humanitarian partners. One additional USAID/DART member is scheduled to arrive on November 5.
- On November 2, USAID/OFDA allocated an additional $1.5 million for the relief effort in Pakistan, bringing the total USAID/OFDA contribution in response to the earthquake to $2.5 million. Of this funding, USAID/OFDA is committing $1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the provision of emergency assistance, including emergency health care, shelter, relief commodities, and water and sanitation interventions, for earthquake-affected populations.
ESTIMATED NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
|NDMA - November 1, 2008|
|IFRC(1) - November 1, 2008|
|Internally Displaced Persons||
|IFRC - November 1, 2008|
FY 2009 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING ALLOCATED TO DATE
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Pakistan : $2,500,000
Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Pakistan : $2,500,000
- On November 1, IFRC reported that current GOP figures and preliminary field assessments indicate the earthquake killed more than 160 individuals and injured approximately 500 others. Reports from media and civil organizations estimate that the death toll is 300 or more persons, with up to 1,000 individuals injured. ICRC has noted that the number of reported deaths may increase significantly as remote areas are reached.
- According to IFRC, preliminary assessments indicate that the earthquake displaced an estimated 17,500 families in Ziarat and Pashin. Humanitarian organizations expect more comprehensive estimates of affected and displaced populations as information from ongoing rapid assessments becomes available.
- The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), ICRC, and other humanitarian organizations have confirmed an immediate need for emergency shelter for populations displaced by the earthquake. According to OCHA, many people are sleeping outdoors without adequate shelter for fear of aftershocks. ICRC representatives have noted that transitional shelter will be a high priority once emergency needs are met. In addition, OCHA has reported urgent needs for food and relief commodities among displaced populations living in spontaneous settlements.
- Since October 30, U.N. agencies have conducted a joint rapid assessment of affected areas in Ziarat and Pishin districts. According to the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), preliminary assessment results indicate that the earthquake damaged 10 of the 38 health facilities in Ziarat District, with three basic health units completely destroyed. In Pishin District, three of the 57 facilities were partially damaged. WHO reported that all hospitals in Quetta District are functional.
- The NDMA is currently not requesting, but will accept, international assistance to respond to the effects of the earthquake. On October 31, OCHA reported that the chief minister of Balochistan Province had issued a press release on October 30 requesting assistance for emergency interventions, as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
- According to the Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate of the Pakistan Armed Forces (PAF), the PAF has established relief centers in Gogai, Ahmadon, Malazai, Kawas, Verchum, Wam Kotli villages and in Quetta.
- As of November 1, the PAF had flown 30 sorties and used 60 trucks to transport relief goods to affected areas, including a total of 5,000 non-winterized tents, 116,600 blankets and quilts, 12,000 sleeping mats, and 1,472 sleeping bags, according to the NDMA.