Pakistan + 1 more

Pakistan, India - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 15


Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0176
OCHA Situation Report No. 15
South Asia (Pakistan and India) - Earthquake

This report is based on the information provided by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator's (UN HC/RC) Office in Islamabad, national

Pakistan

SUMMARY UPDATE

Casualties: 50,000

Injuries: 74,000.

Funding:

- $90 million has been committed and pledged towards the UN Flash Appeal.

- Equals 29% of the $311 million requested.

- Up to $500 million has been pledged bi-laterally and in in-kind donations.

Key Priority Needs:

Helicopters, winterised tents (up to 210,000 additional), blankets/sleeping bags (est. 2 million), sanitation (especially latrines), food assistance (for 1 million people), water bladders for affected hospitals, delivery of safe water, generators and diesel, tarpaulins, ground sheets, stoves, fuel and kitchen sets, shovels ploughs, snow chains, antifreeze,), urgent medical assistance (tents for hospitals and remote surgical teams).

SITUATION OVERVIEW

1. The numbers of casualties of the earthquake continue to grow. Casualties are likely to increase further as the situation worsens daily and as the exact impact of what may have been the most devastating earthquake on the subcontinent ever, unfolds.

2.The window of opportunity for life-saving operations is estimated to last for about 25 days before the winter sets in.

3. The combination of growing numbers of those requiring most urgent medical attention for untreated wounds, rapidly deteriorating weather conditions, extraordinary logistical challenges in reaching hundreds of thousands scattered in mountainous areas, and lack of durable shelter solutions for the winter, indicate that worst case scenario may soon become a reality.

4. Numerous aftershocks repeatedly forced recovering patients to evacuate outdoors.

5. In addition to relief items and logistical capacities highlighted before, snow-clearing equipment such as shovels, ploughs, snow chains and antifreeze should also be considered as a priority requirements.

6. As affected populations have been moving from the mountains with their animals,veterinary services will also have to be provided.

7. The current estimates indicate that there are approximately 1 million food insecure and vulnerable persons.

8. While relief efforts focus on providing assistance as close to the affected areas as possible, it is estimated that camps for 500,000 beneficiaries will need to be planned, including for those who chose to relocate.

9. People are already beginning to erect temporary shelter, using whatever material can be obtained locally (e.g. cardboard and plastic sheets).

10. Access to some of the earthquake-affected areas is still impossible. The worst hit areas in the Neelum valley, north east of Muzaffarabad remain inaccessible, including Pateka and Devlica, with at least 50,000 people living there, including untreated injured.

11. Although supply chains into the affected areas have marginally improved, local warehouse capacity is a problem issue for several clusters.


Affected Populations and Locations
Region/
Province
District
Total Population (000)
Affected
Population (000)
% age
Affected
Classification
Pakistan Administered part of Kashmir
Bagh
456
364
80
Severe
Muzzafarabad
911
820
90
Severe
Poonch
463
271
59
High
Total
1830
1455
80
NWFP
Abottabad
999
200
20
Less
Battagram
241
204
20
Less
Kohistan
-
-
50
High
Mansehra
1361
602
44
Less
Shangla
544
272
50
High
Total
3145
1278
41

Coordination

Latest developments /Achievements

1. UN Hubs are operational in Muzaffarabad, Mansehra and Bagh.

2. Cluster coordination is increasingly taking place at field level but needs to be further strengthened. In Bagh, which is the most recently established hub in a city that has been almost 90% destroyed, there is a particular need for a more dynamic cluster coordination.

3. However, as more humanitarian personnel are being deployed daily, it is also evident that agencies are being stretched to the maximum of their capacity and a more robust presence is required by all cluster leads and implementing partners at field level to increase the effectiveness and visibility of clusters.

4. Sector (cluster) groups are continually re-evaluating their priority needs versus newly identified caseloads based on updated assessments and the assistance delivered thus far.

5. UK Development Minster, Hilary Benn, attended the Cluster Head meeting on Thursday 20 October. A number of issues of relating to the strengthening of the cluster coordination process as well as implementation capacity were brought to the fore during the meeting, which received a pledge of support from the Minister.

Challenges

6. The meeting urged the Minster to convey to the donor community the unprecedented scale of destruction and the magnitude of desperation faced by the affected.

Emergency Shelter Cluster (facilitated by IOM)

Latest developments /Achievements

7. The Cluster reports some 62,000 tents already delivered and additional 194,000 in the pipeline. The further required estimates indicate up to 210,000 tents in addition.

Challenges

8. Winterised tents continue to be urgently required, but all viable alternatives are also being urgently explored in order to provide more winter-oriented and sustainable solutions to the shelter crisis.

9. Local materials and knowledge need to be deployed in devising of innovative solutions to ensure durable and winter proof shelters, to the extent possible.

Watsan Cluster (facilitated by UNICEF)

Latest developments /Achievements

10. Watsan cluster has identified four main beneficiary groups to tailor their response accordingly: camp, urban, accessible rural and inaccessible rural populations.

Challenges

11. The very highest priority at this moment is reaching those who will soon be cut off by snow, in a matter of weeks, followed by the high-density camp populations (due to scarce flat land).

Health Cluster (facilitated by WHO)

Latest developments /Achievements

12. No disease outbreaks have been reported so far, but the risk of an epidemic outbreak is very high.

13. The set up of semi-permanent health centers is being considered for many areas, particularly where people are concentrated.

14. UNFPA informs that supplies and equipment for reproductive health have been shipped to Mansehra and Muzaffarabad, including 20,000 home delivery kits and 10,000 clinical delivery kits and other safe motherhood supplies. UNFPA estimated around 9,000 deliveries per month in those two districts.

15. In Rawala Kot, the combined forces hospital had completely collapsed, killing 300. Only one other building was observed to have collapsed; Otherwise, damage was superficial and the town has running water and electricity. Bagh and Balakot suffered tremendous destruction, also to health facilities. Water and electricity are cut.

16. With the continuing arrival of national and international NGOs and medical teams, bed capacity for post-operation care has increased. In Mansehra Tehsil alone, 2,000 more beds have become available located in 5 different field hospitals.

17. Injured inpatients in hospitals in Mansehra and Muzaffarabad insist on staying outside buildings fearing aftershocks and more destruction.

18. Earthquake victims' with severe trauma or amputation need prostheses. The NGO, Handicapped International, reports that 25 beds are available in Peshawar, NWFP, for patients in need of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

19. The number of patients in accessed areas in need of treatment for acute injuries and referral is declining according to the Ministry of Health.

Challenges

20. While numbers of medical personnel and daily operations have improved dramatically, emergency shelter for patients remains a priority.

21. Numerous aftershocks repeatedly forced recovering patients to evacuate outdoors and exacerbate already severe psychological stress.

22. The shortage of drugs for chronic conditions (insulin, anti-hypertensive drugs) needs to be addressed to prevent further morbidity and mortality.

23. The major challenge now faced is how to revive the health system and rebuild capacity to deliver primary health care to the affected population. Presence of the aid community needs to be ensured for the longer term until the health infrastructure is restored and human resources capacity rebuilt.

Food and Nutrition (facilitated by WFP)

Latest developments /Achievements

24. The ongoing (21-23 October) in-depth assessment of the food and nutrition needs will reveal the more precise estimate of the target groups. The current estimates indicate approximately 1 million food insecure and vulnerable persons.

25. Food assistance to the region continues to be transported by truck wherever roads are accessible and by helicopter and pack mules in more remote mountain areas.

26. Cluster members are distributing food supplies as follows: GOAL to some 66,000 beneficiaries in Bagh, Islamic Relief to 180,000 beneficiaries in Bagh, Muzaffarabad and Rulkot in addition to seven other NGOs.

27. WFP Logistic Unit is erecting rub halls for warehousing purposes.

Challenges

28. Only small parts of the Neelum valley have been reached by the army and relief organizations recently. Nearly 20 villages adjacent to Muzaffarabad were found to be severely damaged: Jura is about 50% destroyed, and Nowseri, Pattika, Punjgran almost 100%.

29. The army has delivered limited quantities of food and tents to these areas, but most inhabitants are in desperate need of food. Roads to these villages are blocked or washed away.

31. The worst hit areas in the Neelum valley, north east of Muzaffarabad remain inaccessible, including Pateka and Devlica, with at least 50,000 people living here, which include untreated injured. Reports indicate that only 10% of the population have rations.

Camp Management (facilitated by UNHCR)

Latest developments /Achievements

32. Formal government camps are being established by UNHCR and the military in Basian, Batagram, and Ghari Habibullah.

33. In addition to the five teams currently assessing the feasibility of camp locations in Mansehra, Balakot, Shangla and Muzaffarabad for their size, standards, security and duration, registration teams have been mobilized by the cluster.

34. The Cluster must focus on improving the conditions of these makeshift tents, with health care, watsan and food.

Challenges

35. Varying patterns in population movements make camp planning particularly difficult. Those closer to distribution points fetch relief and return, others may send women and children to camps while guarding land and property, which reveals a will to remain, regardless of the levels of destruction of homes.

36. In addition, suitable flat land is scarce and the standards in some army-erected camps are irregular, posing additional problems.

37. The shelter cluster estimates that camps for 500,000 beneficiaries need to be planned. The immediate objective is to identify spontaneous camps, prevent duplication of effort in terms of visiting and giving relief to sites already been provided for.

Logistic Cluster (facilitated by WFP)

Latest developments /Achievements

38. Muzaffarabad has now been declared fit to receive incoming relief flights.

39. The Cluster has established working groups to look at overarching logistics issues and address both strategic and operational issues in parallel.

40. A commodity tracking system has been initiated by UNJLC.

Challenges

41. Although supply chains into the affected areas have marginally improved, local warehouse capacity is a problem issue for several clusters.

42. A need for clear strategy for relief distribution is another priority.

Protection of Women and Children Cluster (led by UNICEF)

Latest developments /Achievements

43. Registration of all children will be undertaken enabling detection of unaccompanied or separated children, under the responsibility and coordination of the Ministry of Social Welfare, with support from cluster agencies in information collections.

44. Press campaigns are being initiated regarding the dangers faced by unprotected children.

45. Task Forces on Gender, Disabilities and Psycho-social care/activities have been created and will start developing strategic planning for potential activities.

Challenges

46. There has been an increase in concerns regarding abductions and exploitation of unaccompanied children.

Early Recovery Cluster (facilitated by UNDP)

47. The World Bank, ADB and UNDP will undertake assessments for reconstruction and rehabilitation shortly. These planning processes are necessary but should not shift the attention from the top current priority of life-saving and relief activities in the coming weeks.

Environment

Latest developments /Achievements

48. UNDAC team environmental experts have identified a number of urgent needs the need for assistance for various issues including on waste management in settlements, the need for technical support for environmental aspects of debris clearing (e.g. site selection) and the need to assess dangers from landslides and slope destabilization.

GENERAL INFORMATION

49. All detailed cluster information (meeting minutes, assessments, contact information etc.) is being posted on www.un.org.pk.

50. The latest information on projects and funding for the Flash Appeal, and for the emergency overall, can be found on the Financial Tracking Service (http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/reportlist.asp?section=CE&record_ID=688).Further information on earthquake appeals and funding is available on ReliefWeb (http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc105?OpenForm&rc=3&emid=EQ-2005-000174-PAK).

51. Contact details of focal points for information on in-kind and cash contributions can be found at http://www.un.org.pk/earthquake05/

52. 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 http://www.reliefweb.int.

Tel.: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

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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