- First assessments show serious damage due to monsoon rains in Karachi townships.
- According to Balochistan Provincial relief commissioner 1.5 million affected and 300,000 homeless in 14 district of Balochistan as a result of cyclone Yemyin.
- Access to the affected areas in Balochistan is limited; preliminary health assessments show all 34 Basic Health Units (BHUs) in Lasbella flooded. Large parts of the area covered by water and people seeking refuge on roof tops.
- Weather forecasts of continuing rains may threaten to damage more buildings and roads.
- WHO is supporting the Pakistan Ministry of Health, in close collaboration with UNICEF and other health partners with the provision of essential drugs as well as chlorine tablets.
- Five medical relief camps are functioning on a 24 hour basis in Karachi to provide health care to the affected population. (see map annexed)
Storm and rains in Karachi
Heavy rains and storm caused severe damage and reportedly killed up to 230 people in Pakistan's largest city Karachi (official figures report 89 dead and 560 injured). Three out of 18 townships in Karachi were badly affected, while damage was most extensive in coastal Kemari. Initial damage assessments report over 300 houses destroyed, but many more are partially damaged. Electricity has been cut in many parts of the city.
Worst affected are Gadap Township (Karachi district) with an estimated population of 448,437, and Baba Bhit Union Council with an estimated population of 29,643 and Maripur with an estimated population of 74,603 in Kemari Township. Baba Bhit and Maripur are islands which makes access more difficult. So far, all 21 health facilities functional in the area are operating.
Cyclone Yemyin in Balochistan
Cyclone Yemyin resulted in serious flooding in Balochistan causing damage to roads and communications systems. Thousands of people from coastal areas and from areas close to the Mirani dam in Kech district (near the Iranian border) were reportedly evacuated. Cyclone Yemyn killed 34 people in Balochistan, but affected an estimated 900,000 people. According to the Balochistan Relief Commissioner some 200,000 houses were destroyed.
About 20-25 villages were badly affected in Kech District displacing large parts of the population. Ormara Tehsil in Gawader district reported 200 houses damaged and 20 houses completely destroyed.
As roads are inaccessible due to flood water, the Pakistan Army is using helicopters for search & rescue.
Injuries have been reported at the different health units, caused by flying debris, collapsed structures and electrocution.
Stagnant water, scarcity of clean drinking water and lack of electric supply are posing serious threats to health.
The medical camp in Hashim Goath (Karachi) reported a large number of diarrhea cases.
Initial assessments in Lasbella -partially accessible from Karachi- showed all 34 Basic Health Units (BHUs) were flooded. Large parts of the area are still covered by water and people were seeking refuge on roof tops.
1. Assessment and monitoring
In coordination with health authorities, WHO and UNICEF carried out assessments in Kemari and Gadap Townships. Five out of the initially set up 12 medical relief camps are functioning on a 24 hour basis. Two medical relief camps in Younisabad and Allah Bano have been established by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK). UNFPA provided support to cover special needs of women.
2. Filling health gaps
WHO and UNICEF are procuring 17 000 vials of Anti Snake Venom and mobilized all available stocks of medicines and supplies to the flood affected districts. A total of 100 diarrhea treatments kits will be send to the affected areas soon.
UNFPA sent 2,000 hygiene kits each to their Karachi and Quetta provincial offices.
The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) sent 2.1 tons of medicines to the affected areas via the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The Pakistani Army has deployed one medical battalion in Sindh and two in Balochistan. One battalion has 4 advance dressing stations with 400 a bed capacity.
The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) provided 500,000 chlorine tablets to WHO in Karachi, of which 112,000 have been distributed to the affected population.
WHO is mobilizing 6 Trauma Kits and 20 basic health kits (each for 1000 population for 3 months) from its earthquake programme to are being will arrive today by road to be warehoused in Karachi for use both in Sindh and Balochistan.
The Sindh government is providing safe drinking water to the affected population through tankers.
WHO mobilized its experts from the earthquake programme in Islamabad to Karachi: one surveillance coordinator, one primary health care officer, and one GIS mapper. WHO also mobilized one international emergency coordinator and one environmental health expert.
WHO sent two Italian Emergency Kits Part-A, one Basic Emergency Health Kit and 20 basic kits to the Ministry of Health in Balochistan.
The Pakistani Red Crescent Society (PRCS) established a disaster cell at provincial level in Quetta and in four districts (Jaffarabad, Sibi, Loralai and Lasbela). PRCS dispatched tent/blankets and food items for 200 families in Lasbela district. PRCS has more supplies available to support 200 families in Sibi and Jaffarabad districts.
UNICEF provided 4 Emergency Health Kits with medicines for 10 000 people for 3 months, 10 000 water purification tablets, as well as 4 water bladders with a capacity of 5000 gallons, 3 million chlorine tablets, jerry cans, tents and latrine slabs to Quetta and Kech district. UNICEF also provided financial support to the District Health Officer in Kech to purchase measles vaccines.
3. Preserving and supporting local health systems
WHO is setting up the Disease Early Warning System in the flood affected areas to monitor the health situation. WHO will also be providing medicines for diarrheal disease.
The Sindh government installed 2 relief camps for the affected population and 2 provisional health centers in Maripur (Mubarak village) and Gabopat. Mobile clinics have been mobilized to the affected areas.
Plans to reinforce preparedness activities in view of upcoming monsoons affected other districts are being developed. A Public health officer from WHO is advising the provincial authorities in Quetta.
The Provincial Health Directorate of Balochistan requested WHO for 15 Emergency Health Kits, 10 Trauma Kits, 70000 water purification tablets and Anti Snake Venom and Serum
The lack of communication is a main constraint, as accurate information on the impact of the storm, number of people affected, and their health status and needs cannot be adequately assessed.
Ministry of Health Balochistan reports shortages of medicines to control and prevent any outbreaks in case of communicable diseases including Acute Respiratory Infection, Diarrhea, Malaria and Measles.
There is strong need for mass public awareness campaign regarding safe drinking water to be initiated immediately.
Emergency Preparedness & Humanitarian
World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO)
P.O. Box 7608
Nasr City (11371)
Fax: (+202) 2765422