Earthquake in Remote Area of Pakistan and Kashmir Kills
UMCOR Advance #232000, Pakistan Earthquake
A powerful earthquake, centered in northern Pakistan , on Oct. 8 2005 , sent tremors eastward across India and as far west as Afghanistan . The quake leveled whole cities in Kashmir and shook and destroyed buildings , homes, and schools in many parts of the region. The quake killed more than 80,000 people. The Kashmiri town of Muzaffarabad was one of the most heavily-affected localities. More than a month later, aftershocks continue to shake the area.
The US Geological Survey put the number at 7.6. That would make the quake the worst ever in the region, according to press reports.
UMCOR is sending aid to the region through its partners, International Blue Crescent and Church World Service. In its preliminary report the IBC said there is an urgent need of medicine, food, water and blankets. The IBC team is distributing 50,000 blankets locally and will supply meal packages to as many as 3,000 survivors.
UMCOR is also working with Church World Service. The ecumenical agency has offices in Pakistan and was able to provide emergency food to 1,600 families immediately after the quake . CWS has set up medical camps in the affected areas, and is providing emergency shelter kits consisting of a winterized tent, ground sheet, and plastic sheeting. The shelter kits are reaching some of the most remote areas through the use of Pakistani army helicopters that are facilitating the shelter distribution. As snow begins to arrive in the mountains and the bitter Himalayan winter set in, these shelters will be the difference between life and death for many.
In addition to the remote drop offs, CWS set up a tent village outside Balakot, an area heavily affected by the earthquake, which is housing more than 130 families. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent recognized this site as organized and as a safe haven for children. As a result, they are relocating some of the children left most vulnerable by this disaster to the CWS camp.
UMCOR Workers Are Safe
Tremors in Afghanistan did not affect UMCOR's staff in Kabul , reported an email from Guy Hovey, regional director for Europe and Asia . Mohammed Hanif Malik, head of mission for UMCOR in Indonesia , reported that his immediate family is safe, but close relatives living in Muzaffarabad, the destroyed town where UMCOR aid will be distributed by the IBC, have gone missing or were killed.
Please join us in expressions of prayer for all sisters and brothers who have been affected by the earthquake.
A man walks between rows of tents set up by Church World Service that provide shelter for thousands of earthquake survivors.
Credit: Paul Jeffrey/ACT International
- 3.5 million are affected by the Oct. 8 earthquake
- Temperatures regularly dip below freezing at night
- 6,580 shelter kits have been distributed by CWS as of Nov. 15, 2005 – each kit houses one family
- CWS plans to help 20,000 of the most vulnerable families (approx. 140,000 people) with shelter, food, and home reconstruction
How You Can Help
UMCOR joins these ecumenical partners in an appeal for donations. Gifts will be channeled through Advance #232000, designate Pakistan Earthquake .
By Phone 1-800-554-8583
By Check at your local church, or by mail to:
PO Box 9068
New York , NY 10087-9068
Checks should be written to UMCOR with the Advance number and name written on the memo line of your check. If you would prefer that your funds to go to recovery in a specific region, please note that on your donation.