Pakistan - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 17

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0178

OCHA Situation Report No. 17
South Asia - Earthquake


Affected Population:

Casualties: 53,000

Injuries: 76,000

Key Priority Needs:

Food: Food assistance (for 1.6 million people)

Shelter: winterised tents (up to 210,000 additional), blankets/sleeping bags (est. 2 million), warm clothing, generators and diesel, tarpaulins, ground sheets, stoves, fuel and kitchen sets.

Watsan: sanitation (especially 600,000 latrines), delivery of safe water (for 1.7 million people).

Medical: Hospital tents and surgeons for remote areas. Vaccinations (tetanus).

Logistics: Helicopters (25 helicopters for WFP), shovels ploughs, snow chains, antifreeze.


1. The situation is getting more desperate. It is currently estimated that as much as 30% of the areas affected have not been reached, which could translate into at least 200,000 people not getting the assistance they need.

2. There is in all likelihood only a three-week window of opportunity to deliver assistance before the snow falls in mountainous areas which could close off two of the three main valleys where many of the affected live.

3. In Neelum Valley there are still many injured people in the surrounding mountainous villages in urgent need of medical assistance. Nearly 90-100 % of buildings were destroyed and are uninhabitable. The only health unit existing prior to the earthquake was completely destroyed by the earthquake. Logistics and delivery of assistance to the valley is a major challenge as roads are still blocked by landslides and not likely to be cleared in the next three to four weeks.

4. The northern part of Mansehra (Alai), which is still inaccessible by road in some of the remote parts, as well as the region of Oghi, are in urgent need of winterised tents, emergency medical treatment.

5. Many camps are beginning to be established. Muzaffarabad has 3 camps with capacities for 3,000 to 6,000 people in each, and 3 more camps are planned with capacities for between 1000 and 1,500 tents. In Mansehra, approximately 25 tented villages are being established with capacities between a few tents and 300 tents. The main challenges currently are: to advise authorities on the setting and management of camps; provision of site planners and services to the camps.


6. Muzaffarabad: The present population is now greater than immediately after the earthquake struck, due to the growing numbers of people in need of shelter. Some displaced people reportedly plan to migrate to major cities in search of work, while some are now settling in tented camps in and around the town.

7. Mansehra: The extent of the needs and impact is still unclear in many remote parts of Mansehra district. Health service delivery in Mansehra town has increased. Installation of mobile water treatment plants and repair of water supply in Batagram and Balakot have started.

8. Bagh: The distribution of aid is still in its initial phases due to the remoteness of affected villages. Local NGOs report a lower need for tents than originally estimated, i.e. 35,000 tents at present. Shelter kits are seen as a better solution, in view of expected early snowfalls. The main challenges at this stage include: (a) better coordination with local and military authorities; (b) collaboration between emergency shelter and camp management clusters on overlapping issues, and (c) lobby for more local NGOs to be used in programming.


9. On 26 October, the UN issued a Revised Flash Appeal calling for US$ 550 Million. This coincided with the convening of a Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, the same day, presided over by the UN Secretary-General. On this occasion, member states announced additional pledges totalling USD 580 million. The timing for receipt and purpose (emergency, rehabilitation, reconstruction,) of pledges has not yet been confirmed.

10. Of the USD 580 million, only USD 15.8 million was specifically pledged towards the Revised Appeal, and these still remain to be confirmed. This brings the current total of pledged and committed funds to the Flash Appeal to USD 111 million (20% of requested amount). Given that winter is less than 3 weeks away, if pledges are to be converted into relief assistance in time, they need to be confirmed without further delay! The UN system and partner agencies including the IOM, Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGO community are extremely worried that contributions may not arrive in time. In particular, there is a most urgent need to evacuate and/or treat the injured not yet reached, provide shelter, and deliver food, health care, water, sanitation, and schooling facilities.


13. Overview: An inter-agency rapid assessment was conducted in the Neelum Valley, Patika township, population 40-50,000. Nearly 90-100 % of buildings were destroyed and are uninhabitable.

14. WATSAN: The water supply systems in the Neelum Valley are completely dysfunctional and people from foothills and remote villages have to walk several hours to get water from the river or the springs. The Canadian DART team is in the process of setting up the water treatment plant.

15. Food and Nutrition: WFP assessment teams visited the Jehlum valley, where large numbers of people have still not received any food. Some minor rice harvesting has been observed. Residents report that trucking costs have doubled and therefore food costs are expected to increase also. Muslim Hands International printed ration cards and is distributing food in the camps. WFP is to begin feeding in an NGO-managed hospital.

16. Health: There are still many injured people in the surrounding mountainous villages in urgent need of medical assistance. The only health unit existing prior to the earthquake was completely destroyed by the earthquake.

a. Abbas Hospital received 2 trucks of sanitation material through WHO.

b. Russian Mobile Hospital will leave Muzaffarabad on 24 October. The gap will cause some shortage of referral capacity in the town.

c. ICRC's mobile hospital is operational.

d. The coordination cell in the helicopter landing pad is taken care of by ICRC and the military, to coordinate evacuations of patients.

e. Canadian Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) have started working in Gharri Dupotta for 40 days.

f. Department of Health, informed that they had 294 consultations, 6 evacuations and 34 major operations in Abbas hospital yesterday.

g. 15 EPOI-MOH vaccination teams are currently undertaking immunization campaign in Muzaffarabad. The mobile teams reached the remote areas and had 608 cases inoculated with measles, Td and OPV vaccines in addition to vitamin A administration to the kids.

h. MSF-Holland dispatched mobile medical teams to Therian, Panjkot and Sarian, to supplement the surgical capacity dispatched by WHO-MOH.

i. UNFPA is planning to strengthen its capacity by sending 5 mobile teams to remote areas around Muzaffarabad to provide basic medical care and family health care.

17. Camp Management: A camp for 70 families was set up in Neelum Stadium by a local NGO (Al-Khidmat). UNHCR will provide 1,000 tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets and stoves for Thori Park camp. UNHCR is present and expected to initiate cluster leadership soon.

18. Emergency Shelter: ICRC will assist 10,000 families (60,000 people) in Jhelum and Neelum Valleys with a full shelter kit and a half food ration lasting 6 months. An additional 20,000 household will be served in areas becoming accessible to trucks in the north and south of Muzaffarabad.

19. Logistics: WFP erected 4 Rub halls in Muzaffarabad and conducted an assessment of Neelum valley on 23 October. About 20 major landslides and 2 destroyed bridges were identified, which will require months or weeks to repair.


20. Emergency Shelter: Mercy Corps and the SHA/SDC have been leading the emergency shelter.

21. Camp Management: The local and provincial government, in close cooperation with the military, is establishing 25 small-tented villages around Mansehra. Camp size currently ranges from a couple of tents to 300 tents, housing almost 900 persons. The government has also identified a plot of land where 5,000 tents could be situated. Medium and long term plans for the camps are under discussion, as is a compensation scheme for those affected by the earthquake. A meeting between the WATSAN and Camp management clusters produced a plan to ensure rapid supply of water and sanitation in camps with a minimum of overlap. UNHCR is not yet fully operational on the ground. The main challenge is the development of cluster coordination and the advise to the government and military regarding camp management.

22. Logistics: In response to the ever changing scene, military air resources are being relocated from Mansehra to forward positions, including Batagram and Balakot ('the frontier'), from where a higher number of missions can be flown to mountain areas that are still inaccessible by road. UNJLC has undertaken an assessment and plans to station two staff at Mansehra Helipad/Airport. The main challenge is deployment of suitably sized helicopters to Mansehra district to enhance dispatch of heavy loads of aid goods. There are no cluster coordination meetings taking place as yet.

23. Food and Nutrition: 40 MT of fortified biscuits are being handed out together with the measles and TT vaccinations. The NGO running the tented village adjacent to the DHQ hospital requires assistance with the provision of a regular and balanced diet to the patients. This will be organised jointly by UNICEF, WFP and WHO.

24. Health: WHO is leading the Health cluster and working closely with the Government and Military Authorities and the cluster is advancing rapidly in terms of the provision of services. Vaccinations against measles and TT have started (3,100 vaccinations provided so far) in cooperation with the local authorities and UNICEF. The main challenges are: provision of emergency health services to Allai and Oghi regions, provision of (emergency) health services to the tented villages around Mansehra and a field hospital for a period of min. 1 year to Batagram.

25. WATSAN: The German Red Cross team has reached Batagram and is installing a mobile treatment plant, which should provide urban areas some quantities of clean water. Norwegian refugee Council, UNICEF and the local authorities are about to start the rehabilitation of water supply in Batagram. Four water purification plants have been donated by private firms in Mansehra, to be installed shortly. Repairs of the networks in Balakot have started.

26. Education: UNICEF has provided two school tents to the tented village and has undertaken education needs assessment in three camps.

27. Protection: UNICEF has been leading the protection cluster and held discussions with the military and government concerning procedures to ensure protection in the tented villages. Pakistan's penal code will apply to any cases of abuse. Child Protection Units have been set up for 3 tented villages and staff will be paid for by the local government.

28. Telecommunications: According to WFP, an internet café with 40 stations will be erected. Mansehra and Batagram are covered by the mobile phone network. In Allai and Oghi satellite phones should be used.


29. Coordination: Agencies present in Bagh include OCHA, WHO, WFP, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNFPA Telecom sans Frontiers, and UNOPS next. Two potential campsites for the IHP were identified.

30. Logistics: Warehouse capacity is very limited. There are no buildings considered safe and the ground for larger warehouses or camp installations is limited.

31. Camp Management: UNHCR is present and is expected to commence the cluster meeting, pending ongoing assessments, which focus on the spontaneous campsites. The potential possible camp locations are limited, as suitable land is scarce and access difficult.

32. Emergency Shelter: IOM requested partners to provide "who does what where" information. Village assessments indicate that 90% of housing in the whole district is either totally destroyed or seriously damaged. According to the local NGOs, the need for tents may be lower than originally estimated, i.e. 35,000 tents at present. Shelter kits are seen as a better solution, in view of expected snowfalls.

33. Food and Nutrition: WFP is committed to feeding 152,600 persons over the next three months, in cooperation with partners such as the military, Islamic Relief, GOAL, ARC, Oxfam, NRSP (local). Two rub halls have arrived, waiting to be erected- possible sites Erja and Rawalkot. By the beginning of December, certain areas are expected to be snowed-in and cut off. The army will map out priority areas in terms of accessibility during snowfall and share with the cluster.

34. Health: WHO has initiated the early warning system surveys. The district health officer highlighted priority needs as follows:

a. Adequate stocks of medicine for primary healthcare;

b. Basic medical equipment for small health centers;

c. Tents to replace damaged health clinics;

d. Staff - many had not turned for work as they were busy looking for shelters; UNFPA indicated that 350 lady health workers, who were trained to offer primary health care for up to 1,000 women per worker, were unavailable now;

e. Funding for the hospital was only available for staff salaries, not equipment or medicines;

f. The district hospital has established a 24-hour blood bank service with 200 bags of blood available at the moment.

g. Mass vaccinations for measles had commenced with the combined mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccines being administered by 10 teams in Bagh and 5 teams outside Bagh, with coverage aimed for at least 50% of the population.

35. WATSAN: Village assessments from NGOs indicate that only 25% of the villages in the mountains have running water; remaining villages rely on springs or rivers for water. There seems to be a limited need for watsan in those areas. In Bagh city, the needs are larger due to the increased number of inhabitants seeking shelter and in makeshift campsites. The two USAID- provided mobile treatment plants, previously delivered to Muzaffarabad are now being installed in Bagh.

36. Education: Save the Children has been leading the cluster. Local authorities have emphasized that education is a high priority and there is a need to get the schools up and running now. The army has opened a new tent high school in Chitra Topi with 30 students attending. The Sanghar Primary School was expected to reopen on 24 October 2005. In addition, GOAL distributed 4 large school tents in the Union Council Malot and will also distribute 6 more tents in the Union Council Rangla.


37. Logistics: The UNJLC with WFP has developed a strategic logistics plan, aimed at a joint inter-agency logistical operation for all clusters. All agencies' individual cargo delivery plans will be incorporated into an overall logistics strategy to ensure better use of logistics assets. Based on the overall strategy, a Joint Logistics Operations Cell will be established with the Government.

38. Coordination: A plan to synchronize the Government's and HICs information management processes has been initiated in an effort to improve tracking of deliveries and identify gaps and needs. Information management Focal Points will be appointed in each cluster. The discussion on locations of additional hubs continues: the common criteria for setting up hubs require further clarification.

39. WATSAN: A weekly-consolidated information sheet has been agreed upon and distributed to all WATSAN members to obtain a picture of where all WATSAN materials in the country are. Next week a spreadsheet on supplies installed/distributed will be added in order to determine where activities are ongoing on the ground.

40. Education: Too few organizations are working in the education cluster, despite the fact that more than 90% of the schools are completely destroyed.


41. All detailed cluster information (meeting minutes, assessments, contact information etc.) is being posted on

42. The latest information on projects and funding for the Flash Appeal, and for the emergency overall, can be found on the Financial Tracking Service ( information on earthquake appeals and funding is available on ReliefWeb (

43. Contact details of focal points for information on in-kind and cash contributions can be found at

44. OCHA will revert with further information as it becomes available. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Tel.: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Ms. Merete Johansson, direct Tel. +41-22-9171694
Ms. Kirsten Gelsdorf, direct Tel. +41-22 917 1843
Ms. Rebecca Richards, direct Tel. +41-22 917 3183

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. + 1-917 367 5126


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