Pakistan

Pakistan: Earthquake OCHA situation report No. 1

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HIGHLIGHTS

- An Earthquake of magnitude 6.4 has hit Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan leaving more than 80 dead (government confirmed figure) and dozens critically injured.

- Numbers are likely to rise as more information is coming in and assessment teams are reaching remote areas.

- Immediate needs include food, shelter, emergency medical assistance and safe drinking water to survivors in rural areas.

SITUATION

1. An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 has hit Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan on 29 October. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was in Chiltan mountains, 80 kilometers northwest of Quetta. The first tremor struck at 4:09 am local time (23:09 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometer while the second one came at 5:15 am. The affected region is the mountainous area extending from Ziarat, about 110 KMs northeast of Quetta to Pishin, Qilla Abdullah to Chaman (border town along Afghan border). Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) reports that the worst hit area falls within villages Khanozai and Topa Achakzai in eastern Pishin district and Wachun Kawas village in Ziarat district and possibly Harnai district (east of Ziarat).

2. Media and civil organisations are putting the death toll at 160 whereas the government figures have confirmed 80 deaths so far. Dozens of individual are reportedly critically injured. The typical houses in the area are traditionally made of mud or mud-bricks with low resistance against earthquake. Hundreds of houses reportedly collapsed and electricity and communication system also failed. Scores of people have been reported to be trapped under the rubble while several houses and buildings destroyed due to the earthquake. Being a mountainous region, accessibility to the areas might pose a problem. Some villages were reportedly affected by landslides triggered by the earthquake. WHO reported that the road from Khanozai to Loralia was blocked due to landslides. The total number of victims and affected population is likely to rise as more information is coming in and assessment teams are reaching remote areas.

3. There is little information on the scale of damage in smaller valleys and regions off the main routes. In addition, the winter has already started and temperature reaches 5=B0C at night. Immediate needs include food, shelter, emergency medical assistance and safe drinking water to survivors in rural areas.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

4. NDMA is sending its first dispatch of emergency relief items and mobilising a search and rescue team. 5,000 tents, 5,000 blankets, 15,000 plastic sheets, winter clothing, emergency food items have been dispatched. A 100-bed field hospital is being deployed in Quetta, possibly in Ziarat. Another field hospital is on standby in Rawalpindi and will be deployed on needs basis. The government has imposed an emergency in all the hospitals of the province particularly in Ziarat where dozens of injured persons are under treatment. PDMA has further requested for 2,000 tents, 5,000 blankets, food covering 20,000 affected people and 4 New Emergency Health Kits (NEHKS). One kit is enough for a population of 10,000 for 3 months.

5. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan army contingents and three C-130 aircraft have been sent to Wachun, Kawas in Ziarat district and Toba Achakzai in Pishin district for rescue operations along with mobile medical teams. The Government is also working on clearing the roads.

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

6. WHO is sending one New Emergency Health Kit, two Trauma Kits (part A and B) and Five Mini Emergency Health Kits which will reach Quetta by 31 October. WHO team is also part of the joint UN Assessment Mission to Ziarat and Pishin districts.

7. UNICEF is working with the government and other UN agencies to coordinate a response. It is also part of the joint UN rapid assessment mission to assess damage to the worst affected districts. UNICEF is ready to mobilise its contingency stocks as part of the relief operation.

8. Oxfam, Save the Children and MSF-Holland have sent assessment and response teams today morning to Ziarat and are ready to intervene in relief activity.

9. District Coordination Office (DCO) Ziarat has mobilized Ziarat-based NGOs and presently they are involved in initial rescue efforts and damage assessment. IUCN Juniper Project Team is part of the assessment mission and is presently in Kawas in Ziarat. According to the initial reports by IUCN Villages Malik Payo Khan and Tarrai have been destroyed to the ground.

10. According to ICRC, two ICRC teams have reached the affected area and are assessing the situation and the needs. 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. The ICRC intends to send medical teams to the region. A surgical and medical team will fly from Peshawar early on Thursday. The IFRC is also sending a support team to the region, including a disaster management expert, a health specialist and an information officer.

11. The Japanese government decided to dispatch relief goods consisting of 120 tents and 600 blankets.

12. CARE is shipping 100 winterized family tents to the affected area near the provincial capital of Quetta. CARE is also preparing to ship additional shelter and emergency supplies and dispatch a medical team to treat injured survivors.

13. The Government has not yet requested international assistance.

COORDINATION

14. Two coordination meetings were held in Quetta respectively chaired by the Minister PDMA and Tourism and the Provincial Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Department. Two teams including representatives of UN agencies were constituted and will go to the worst affected districts for rapid assessments.

15. An emergency health cluster meeting will take place in Islamabad on 30 October.

16. OCHA is supporting the RC Office in Islamabad and a Regional Disaster Response Advisor from the Regional Office in Bangkok is now present in Pakistan. OCHA is also sending an officer to Quetta to participate in the assessment mission.

17. More information can be found on Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int.

Contact Details

Desk Officer (New York)
Ms. Severine Rey, Office Tel: +1 917 367-5336, Office Fax: +1 212 963-36 30, E-mail: rey@un.org

GCMS (Geneva)
Mr. Jean Verheyden, Office Tel: + 41 22 917 1381, E-mail: verheyden@un.org

OCHA team in Pakistan
Ms. Eliane Provo Kluit, Regional Disaster Response Advisor on mission to Pakistan
Mobile: +92 332 5300689, E-mail: provokluit@un.org

Mr. Fawad Hussain
Mobile: +92 301 8542495, E-mail: fawad.hussain@un.org.pk

Press Contact:

(NY)
Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Office Tel : + 1 917-367-5126, Office Fax: + 1 212-963-1312, Email: bunker@un.org

(GVA)
Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, Office Tel + 41 22 917 26 53, Office Fax + 41 22 917 00 20, E-mail: byrs@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.