Pakistan

Pakistan: Rushing medical aid to earthquake survivors

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Mercy Corps is rushing medical aid and emergency supplies to isolated villages affected by last week's 6.4-magnitude earthquake in western Pakistan, which killed at least 215 people and left about 120,000 people homeless in the remote province of Balochistan.

Our staff on the ground in affected areas report urgent needs for blankets, tents and continuing medical assistance. We've already treated hundreds of survivors, including 620 people over a three-day stretch at the end of last week. Your help is essential to speed more medicine and medical staff to treat families recovering from the quake.

The 6.4-magnitude tremor hit Balochistan early on the morning of October 29, triggering landslides that instantly buried hundreds of homes. The initial earthquake has been followed by dozens of aftershocks - some as large as 6.2-magnitude tremors - causing even more damage.

Our team in Quetta, the closest major city to the most affected areas, deployed immediately after the earthquake: two Mercy Corps ambulances with doctors and paramedics reached the earthquake zone, each filled with medical supplies, water and dry food rations. Within hours, we established a 10-bed emergency health post near the quake's epicenter.

Treatment of the injured population began right away at our medical post in the town of Kawas, situated among mountains in the most affected area. We've established our regional emergency response center in Kawas, while deploying two mobile teams to the devastated towns of Ahmedoon and Tangi to care for injured survivors in those places. On November 1, our medical team expanded its operations to the village of Rodgyan.

Over a three-day period at the end of last week, we consulted and treated 620 people in these towns. This includes 78 surgical procedures that ranged from stitches to setting splints for multiple fractures. Our medical teams continue to see and treat dozens of people each day.

Temperatures are very low in the region - and even more extreme temperatures are expected as winter approaches - so the primary material needs reported are blankets, warm clothes and sturdy tents. Your support is critical as we focus our efforts in some of Pakistan's poorest and most isolated areas.