Pakistan - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 18

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0178
OCHA Situation Report No. 18
South Asia - Earthquake


Affected Population:

Casualties: 55,000

Injuries: 78,880

Key Priority Needs:

Food: Food assistance (for 2.3 million people)

Shelter: winterised tents (200,000), blankets/sleeping bags (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: Shovels, ploughs, snow chains, antifreeze.

Urgent funding so that agencies can continue their operations.

Situation Overview:

1. The prospect of a secondary humanitarian disaster continues to loom as thousands of injured remain stranded in isolated mountainous areas, without food, shelter or sanitation.

2. The outcome of the ministerial pledging conference in Geneva is seen as disappointing in country, in terms of amounts pledged for the most immediately required life saving operations.

3. The relief agencies' presence on the ground still falls short of requirements. Funding shortages are thought to be responsible for inadequate number of implementing partners. Many agencies fear that operations will come to a halt if no additional funding is received in the coming days.

4. The present situation defies the traditional earthquake response thinking, where search and rescue operations are immediately followed by rehabilitation and reconstruction. The current reality is marked by the ongoing life-saving operations, a fact which has not been fully grasped by the outside world.

5. While most inhabitants of the affected region are still believed to prefer to remain on their land, it is envisaged that the worsening conditions may provoke voluntary movements to areas where aid can be delivered more easily.

6. The number of operating helicopters has reached 117 and more are expected. However, as more aircraft operate, the lack of ground space for parking and loading as well as air traffic control issues increase the coordination challenges between different air assets.

7. The emergency response operation has become more de-centralized with the set up of cluster groups in each of the hubs. The role of the Islamabad Head of Clusters group will thus be to deal more with the overall planning of the operation. All clusters are currently finalizing strategic response plans, addressing current situation and possible contingencies.

8. Approximately 140,000 tents have been provided and 200,000 are in the pipeline. The combined total expected supply of winterised tents, to be delivered by 30 November, will not be sufficient to meet expected needs, with an estimated shortfall of 100,000 to 200,000 foreseen. Other shelter options are therefore being urgently explored to meet emergency and transitional shelter needs

9. The shelter cluster is increasingly focusing on "non-tent" options and urgently exploring all potential winter-resistant shelter alternatives. In addition to winterised tents it explores partially repaired accommodation, staying with host families, in camps, or locally procured emergency shelter systems such as tunnel tents using plastic sheeting.

10. WATSAN cluster's is currently focusing on providing sanitation to the spontaneously erected camps. Construction of gender-sensitive latrines is also seen as a priority so as to avoid exposure of women.

11. An agreement has been reached on the establishment of the Logistics Tasking Group, jointly with the government.

12. The initial findings of the rapid Food and Nutrition assessment indicate that in rural areas food consumption has been drastically reduced and up to 2.3 million require food assistance.


13. A donor briefing took place in Islamabad on 27 October, to present the Flash Appeal issued the previous day in Geneva, with the particular emphasis on the current overriding priorities: the strategic logistic coordination plan, elaborated in cooperation with the Government, and the shelter situation.

14. Pakistan NGOs have elected representatives who will henceforth represent them in all cluster meetings.

15. The three existing hubs (Muzaffarabad, Mansehra and Bagh) increasingly feed into the federal level coordination structures, as more networks are being developed with the authorities and the military on the ground. Batagram hub is in the process of being established since 27 October.

Geographic Highlights:


16. The civil administration has been severely impacted by the earthquake. There is an urgent need to improve capacities of the civil administration, including provision of expertise and financial support to provide services to the affected.

17. The main priorities in the lower Jehlum valley, Bagh and Rawlakot are winterized tents, as only 5% of the shelter requirements have been met. The large majority of the tents erected on the mountainsides are not winterized and will need to be replaced in the coming weeks.

18. Building material from collapsed buildings can be used for construction of makeshift shelter, but the majority of populations are severely traumatized and unable to undertake rebuilding of houses.


19. The military signal a possible 'rush' of affected people coming from the Kaghan and Allai Valleys. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 people could move voluntarily into lower areas and major towns of Mansehra district. Access roads will be cleared in the coming two to three weeks. A site has been identified for 20,000 between Mansehra and Jabba and another one, for 30,000 at Maira.

20. The government is urgently looking for assistance with the camp management of the tented villages around Mansehra and an urgent plea for more assistance such as tents and alternative shelter is being made.


21. There is a need to continue assessment of the 230 villages around Bagh to identify the numbers and needs of the affected people. A more intense cooperation with the army is required. Another major challenge is the need to strengthen the leadership of the cluster process.


22. In Muzaffarabad, the figure of 100,000 tents needed remains unchanged. 190 tents, 2,386 blankets and 100 mattresses were delivered in 7 villages under Kumi Kot Union Council under Hattian Tehsil in Muzaffarabad.

The current challenge is to identify the most vulnerable locations based on the information available from terrain maps in order to prioritise accordingly.

23. In Mansehra, as it is apparent that tents do not provide a sustainable winter solution, discussions are ongoing on a 'winterisation programme', using natural materials from the ruins.

24. In Bagh, regular shelter meetings will now be held in conjunction with the Camp Management Cluster.


25. In Muzaffarabad, land clearing for warehousing space at the airport began on 27 October. The military have requested one RubbHall and have provided space for it. The US military offered assistance of to erect tents or shelter. 1,000 personnel would be available for this task.

26. In Mansehra, logistics cluster meetings have not yet begun.

27. In Bagh, UNHAS daily air services to Islamabad have begun.


28. In Muzaffarabad, an increasing number of agencies have signed partnership agreements with WFP. A food/NFI humanitarian hub is being established. NGOs are beginning to identify their areas of operation, which will facilitate coordination and enable identification of gaps. WFP has distributed a total of 86 MTs of mixed food commodities to 1,335 families.

29. In Mansehra, UNICEF and WFP have divided this cluster into two sub-clusters, nutrition and food. Female health workers of Mansehra will be able to cover approximately 60% of the community for outreach activities.

30. In Bagh WFP has set up 2 Rubb Halls. The distribution will be divided among the implementing partners with each partner assigned to different Tehsils to avoid duplication.


31. In Muzaffarabad, there are reportedly many cases of infected wounds or neglected fractures among the people stricken by the earthquake. WHO facilitated an agreement between ICRC and WFP for the distribution of food packages in the ICRC hospital.

ICRC is planning to expand the hospital to 150 beds to meet the current need of the people. ICRC has established two fixed medical teams in Patikka and Chinari in Neelum valley. EPI- MOH: 20 mobile vaccination teams are currently undertaking immunization campaign in Muzaffarabad:1,456 were vaccinated against measles, 642 against TT, 334 against OPV and 334 children were given vitamin A supplements. USAID is assessing the situation to provide funds to potential agencies active in revitalization of the health services in Muzaffarabad. The maxillo-facial, plastic and neurosurgery are the urgently required specialized treatment.

32. In Mansehra, IFRC has set up a 200-bed field hospital at the Ayub teaching hospital in Abottabad. WHO will assist the government in setting up a warehouse for medical supplies, including a database and tracking system. Pneumonia and diarrhoea cases are reportedly rising. The health cluster is developing a geographical division of labour for its partners. Next Monday, a medium-term strategy (9 months) will be presented outlining the transition from urgent relief to early reconstruction.

33. In Bagh, the District Headquarters Hospital has collapsed and the tents in the front of the hospital have been moved to the adjacent area. There are no local staff members available. Health care for women is now provided by female medical staff from MERCY Malaysia and Canadian Relief. A blood bank is now available 24/24.

Current priorities include the establishment of district teams for possible outbreaks and Disease Early Warning Systems, cold chains, medical supplies for rural health facilities, psycho-trauma support, oxygen, ambulance, clean water, sterilizing equipment as well as medical staff, especially radiologists.


34.In Muzaffarabad, four water treatment plants have been installed. Approximately 90% of the water service is back in operation. Water storage tanks have been distributed in the camps and health facilities. Approximately 297 latrines have been installed in camps at health facilities. Hospitals' compounds have been cleaned and solid waste is being collected and removed from the city and camps.

The current priorities include the repair work on the treatment plant and pipeline, development of a regular water distribution schedule for tankers, increase in latrine installation, opening of roads to waste disposal, and water supply in the camps. The number of implementing partners need to increase rapidly; no information is available on partners working in rural areas.

35. In Bagh, 70% of the water systems have been restored. Two areas in Tehsil Bagh: Mohala Bagrole (Chumm)and Hassanabad Imania have been supplied with piped water by Islamic Relief. There is extensive damage to existing sanitation system (septic tanks). Discussions are ongoing on waste management systems for the city area. Medical waste will be handled by MSF-B, vector control will be monitored by WHO.


36. In Muzaffarabad, education has been interrupted in the four affected districts as most schools are severely damaged. Over the last days, tent schools have been opened in some camps.

A number of private schools have also re-launched courses. UNICEF has provided support to the Directorate of Education in setting up of temporary primary school facilities in 9 camps and 10 villages where schools were completely destroyed. A rapid assessment has shown that in each camp there are approximately 300 children of primary school age between ages of 4-12.

The Directorate of Education is setting up a new camp office in Narole Stadium to coordinate the reopening of schools. Current objectives include setting up of up tent schools and schools in prefabricated houses and provision of textbooks, bags, pens, notebooks and uniforms.

37. In Mansehra, the cluster group has set the 'teachers in the tented village' as a first priority. UNICEF reported that schoolbags and utensils have been distributed. One school has been opened and three more will follow.

38. In Bagh, cluster leadership needs to be initiated. GOAL has offered 30 large tents (80ft x 25ft) to any organization/government to be used as schools or shelter.


39. In Muzaffarabad, the cluster is focusing on the populations in 6 priority areas (out of 19 total). In collaboration with Social Welfare and Women Development Department (SWD), child protection units have been established to identify and register unaccompanied and separated children.

Severely depleted human resources pose huge challenges for mobilization of government support. INGOs and national NGOs are encouraged to build the capacities of local NGOs/ CBOs for implementation of protection projects.

40. In Mansehra, the cluster recommends to develop a referral system for unaccompanied children and for closer cooperation with ICRC who has also undertaken registration of unaccompanied and vulnerable children.


41. In Muzaffarabad, two new campsites have been identified: one at Sarran (25 km from Muzaffarabad) and one at Hattian Bala (Langala camp), with the capacity for 200 and 500 families respectively. A third site (400 families) has been identified in Hattian Bala town. Tents, blankets and stoves were distributed in these camps on 27 October. There is an urgent need for partners for the provision of watsan, health and food.

42. In Mansehra, UNHCR will not undertake camp management activities but will provide assistance and expertise.

43. In Bagh, UNHCR will set up camps at Chatta, 25 acres in size and in Bani Pasari, 15 acres in size. Two additional sites have been located in Gella and Noman Pura and are awaiting approval from local authorities. Finding local partners and international NGOs to look into water and sanitation for the camp, suitable land and getting people from the highlands to come down to the camps before snowfall constitute the main challenges at this stage.


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

45. 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 (

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

47. 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


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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