Pakistan earthquake victims to receive assistance from JICA

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said Thursday (October 30) it is rushing tents and blankets to help victims of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake which hit southwest Pakistan a day earlier killing scores of people.

The tremor was the latest natural catastrophe which struck countries around the world in recent weeks. JICA has dispatched emergency supplies to Yemen and the central American state of Honduras following torrential rains and floods in those two regions and also to the central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan which was hit by a powerful earthquake October 5.

JICA said it was air freighting emergency supplies of tents and blankets worth Y11 million as soon as possible to the Pakistani city of Karachi following a request for assistance by the Pakistan government.

The earthquake struck near the city of Quetta killing at least 150 persons, injuring hundreds of others and making tens of thousands of persons homeless. Entire villages were razed and government rescue teams have been pulling bodies from the rubble.

The Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) system, of which JICA is part, was established to respond to natural disasters around the world with emergency supplies and, if necessary, medical and rescue teams.

There has been intense activity in the last few weeks. Around 200 persons died in the worst flooding in decades in southeast Yemen earlier in October. Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 100,000 persons were affected as entire farming regions were devastated.

JICA dispatched tents, blankets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting and water purifiers to the Middle East country.

A few days earlier, the agency said it was sending similar supplies to the Central American state of Honduras which was also hit by relentless rains and flooding which killed several dozen people and made thousands homeless.

The Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan was rocked by a powerful earthquake in which dozens of persons were killed and JICA sent supplies from its Frankfurt warehouse to help survivors of that catastrophe.