Monday, October 31, 2005

Google Earth Dynamic overlay for Pakistan

Thanks to Anne Wright & Randy Sargent from the Global Connection team who have been working on the GEarth overlay of affected areas & sent us more good news via email:
A Pakistan dynamic overlay containing 1-meter imagery and maps for
* Muzaffarabad
* Abbottabad
* Mansehra
* Murree

is available at

* 10 maps from DLR / Space Imaging, available from

The dynamic overlay is now public!
(Please fee free to redistribute the overlay and images)

Army sets up help lines to redress complaints about relief

The Pakistan Army has set up Help Lines at Mansehra, Battagram, Balakot, Shinkiari, Garhi Habibullah, Besham, Khaki and Chattar Plain areas of NWFP. These Help Lines will work round the clock and complaints, problems regarding relief operations will be recorded for immediate action to the staff on duty.

Following are the phone numbers of the Help Lines:

Mansehra (0997) 305781, 301656, 305271.
Batagram (0997) 312083, 311019
Balakot (0997) 501041,501383
Shinkiari (0997) 530016
Garhi Habibullah (0997)451884, 451695
Bisham (0996) 400594
Khaki (0997) 351378
Chattar Plain (0997) 333011

Source: APP

Gifts for the children of Garri Habibullah and Balakot

A team of Karachi Metbloggers have taken an initiative to provide toys, clothes and entertainment stuff to the kids in earthquake affected areas. They are making “care packages” for these children. One package will cater one child and each package will contain:

  • one toy (doll, car, bat/ball, football, etc)
  • one candy/chocolate pack
  • one suit for eid
  • one eid card

These packages will hopefully reach them before eid. The contributions can be made in the form of the above mentioned items. For dropping off the goods contact or by simply posting a comment on Karachi Metblog with a valid email address.

Source: PakQuake

EME starts installing generators in tent villages

Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of Pakistan Army has started installation of generators for provision of electricity to the survivors living in tent villages of the quake hit areas of NWFP. EME is working round the clock on installation of 55 generators at various tent villages established by Pakistan Army at Banna, Kaghan and Gabori valley. Solar enrgy system is also being installed in tent villages of Hassa and Bassain of Balakot. Army on Monday setup several advance supply bases in the worst hit areas of Kaghan, Sirren and Allai valleys while Army Engineers cleared Balakot-Mangli, Thakot-Darband, Thakot-Banna, Darband-Thakot and Dubair-Khwar roads. Work on Balakot-Naran road is in progress from both the ends. As many as 98 sorties were flown by army aviation to airlift food stuffs, water and medicines.

Source: Dawn

Volunteers Needed for Relief Trip to Pehal (Near Mallot)

A private relief team is leaving for Pehal (near Mallot) at 9:00 PM tonight (Oct. 31).

Those interested in accompanying the team should call Akmal Javed on 0321 4699066, or one of the following:

Mujeeb Qayyum - 0300 8433539
Shaoib Tareen - Cell 03008402265
Abdul Raouf - 0321 4698103

Source: Lahore Metblogs

Indian army: Mines across Kashmir border to be cleared

Military officials from India and Pakistan are slated to hold talks on the clearing of tens of thousands of mines along the de facto border of disputedKashmir to facilitate earthquake relief, a top army official said. V.K. Singh, army chief of staff who heads anti-insurgency operations in Indian Kashmir, told AFP Monday that commanders from both sides would attend the meeting at a point along the border called the Line of Control (LoC).

Anti-personnel and anti-tank mines were among those that needed to be cleared after their deployment across the border regions in Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan. The two sides also agreed on the weekend that relief supplies, with prior information and acceptance, could be sent across the LoC and handed over to local authorities at the crossing points.

Source: AFP

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Relief Tent Drive Team Issues an Inspiring Update

Thank you so much for your support and contributions! We have far surpassed our expectations with the grassroots efforts of the Relief Tent Drive! We are temporarily not accepting donations while we prepare our accounts to handle additional contributions. Because of the overwhelming response to this project, we need to enhance our donation accepting methods and are currently working towards partnering with an established and registered organization.

We will be back soon and will inform you when we start accepting donations again. In the mean time, you should be proud that your contributions have helped us:

- To purchase a total of 101 tents in Pakistan, of which 30 tents are on their way and 50 tents are being manufactured in Pakistan;
- To deliver 21 tents to villages that were under resourced or had yet to receive any aid.

We will continue to delivery the tents we have ordered with your funds, so you can rest assured that 100% of your donations have gone towards providing shelter. An Accounting Page is now available to ensure our efforts are transparent and clear to our donors and to the public...please visit this page for more information. Also, we have updated our distribution page with a map of areas delivered to, please see here.

Source: Relief Tent Drive

Warm Coats for Pakistan

The American Alpine Club is leading a coat drive for victims of the earthquake in Pakistan and Kashmir, which has killed more than 50,000 people and left millions homeless, just as winter is approaching. Climbers and skiers almost always have extra coats lying around that seldom get used—here's how you can do something useful with them. Send your surplus fleece and down to the American Alpine Club, 710 10th St., Suite 100, Golden, CO 80401. The AAC will bundle the coats for shipment to Pakistan, where the Alpine Club of Pakistan will ensure they reach needy people in the mountains. The AAC also has established a Pakistan Relief Fund, which already has raised thousands of dollars for aid to mountain villages. Make a contribution online at the AAC website.

Source: The Mountain World

LDRF Update: Volunteers Needed - North of Pakistan

The following is an urgent call for volunteers from an LDRG aid worker - Tree Elf:
The LUMS Disaster Relief Fund (LDRF) does not have volunteers who can go up north. We need you to volunteer yourself; your time, your energy. Contact Dr. Sohaib Khan ( sohaib[at]lums[dot]edu[dot]pk ) and Yasir Hashmi for volunteering. We need people to go up there, help organize stuff, coordinate, distribute. Help out in general. Do This! Give Some Of Your Time!
Additionally an important note for all donors from the LDRF team:
Don't send heavy trucks up north: there are massive traffic jams on the way. Also, don't send goods individually: we are not working alone. Contact Edhi, Red Crescent, Islamic Relief, SUNGI, Omar Asghar Khan Foundation, NRSP or the armed forces. There is an urgent need for large waterproof tents, blankets and bedding. These should be sent only up to Islamabad, where the armed forces are in charge of redistribution.

Eid Gifts to kids in EarthQuake affected areas

NLC in collaboration with PTV are collecting Eid gift packs that will be distributed to the children in earthquake affected areas. They have setup 3 collection points in Karachi at Expo Center (Gulshan-e-Iqbal), Board Office (North Nazimabad) and Park Towers. You can contribute with toys, books and other kid stuff. Please make a packet and put a message on it, if you want to. You can drop the packets until Sunday evening.

Source: PakQuake

Manchester native helping young quake victims in Pakistan

When a devastating earthquake struck northern Pakistan Oct. 8, Manchester native Susan Hirshberg put her organizational skills to work to help the victims.The Islamabad resident helped set up a center there where children stable enough to leave hospitals, but requiring medical care around the clock, can stay with a parent or other close relative.

The pending winter weather is an additional potential disaster in waiting. Already there are many cases of tetanus here and some have started dying of exposure, she said. Everyone is scrambling to help, but still not enough people have tents or proper clothing.

Hirshberg's mother, Louise, a Maine resident, is recruiting people to knit hats, mittens, scarves and sweaters for the homeless children. She can be reached at:

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader

Kashmir Border Opened to Aid Quake Victims

In an unprecedented move, India and Pakistan agreed earlier today to open up the heavily militarized frontier in the disputed Kashmir region to aid. LOC will be opened at 5 crossings. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the quake zone, Rashid Khalikov, also welcomed the Pakistan-India accord, calling it "a good step in this disastrous condition. It will open an opportunity to extend humanitarian help to the affected people in the far-flung villages alongside the Line of Control.

The border openings begin Nov. 7. Relief goods can be sent in either direction and handed over to local authorities at the crossings, the joint statement said. Civilians will be allowed to cross on foot, with priority given to families divided by the border. Procedures for crossing the border would be similar to those implemented earlier this year when the historic bus service between the two capitals of disputed Kashmir, Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, was restarted. People wanting to cross would have to apply for a permit from government officials on either side to verify their identities. The five crossings would be allowed at the Pakistani-Indian border towns of Nauseri-Teethwal, Chakothi-Uri, Hajipur-Uri, Rawalakot-Poonch, and Tattapani-Mendhar. Read More ....

Source: China Post via Earthquake Exodus

Update #1- Situational Report from DMA in Pakistan

Danish Muslim Aid (DMA), a Copenhagen based group of Muslims is spearheading all the activities in this regard. It was acknowledged that the dilapidated terrain might be a hurdle to any such efforts, yet DMA noted that the people in areas away from the main highways are the ones in most despair and should be reached out before the harsh winter strikes.

Regarding the ongoing activities, it was mentioned that a team of fifteen Pakistani and Danish doctors has been in the earthquake hit areas of Balakot and Muzaffarabad for the past ten days. These doctors are coordinating with different camp hospitals of Pakistan Army and different other NGOs.

Syed Abid Gilani, the local coordinator for DMA relief efforts in Pakistan also indicated that serious efforts are needed to reach areas where jeeps and mules only possible way to travel and a lot of time and effort is required to accomplish the task are the. As winter approaches, these areas will become even more difficult to reach, hence now is the time to help the devastated people. DMA has also established a tent village in Rawal Town, Islamabad which is supporting 200 people from Kashmir for the past one week. Local youth has also got actively involved in the arrangements of this tent village. Read More ....

Source: DMA

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Village Data

Relief inforamtion System for Earthquake in Pakistan (Rise-Pak) is a website which provides and gathers Demographic, Disaster, Access, and Assistance data and maps on all Earthquake Affected Villages to Help Coordinate Relief Efforts. Thier web address is

Please visit this website for any information related to affected areas. If you have any information to submit, please feel free to fill in the form and submit it. All the relavent information is available on their website.

On another note, I have officially taken another project on my plate as of today. Me and a few friends, the ones i initially got started on this whole relief thing with, have taken ownership of a tent camp that has been setup right on Murree road. All the residents there are coming in mainly from Kashmir. It is a mess and our job will be to clean up the mess, create an organized system and hand it over to some others who can then maintain and manage it (hopefully!). This camp is located on Murree Road enroute to Barakoh. It is about 1 Kilometer short of the Barakoh entrance (main bazaar).

If anyone wants to volunteer, we need the help! contact me (+92-333-528-9108) and we can see how you can lend your services to us and at least help this small group of about 3000 people. The average increase in refugees is about 20-30 people per day. We have officially done a census and I have compiled an excel spreadsheet of all the residents. It is in its final stages and then we will commence registering people electronically instead of on paper, to ensure it does NOT get misplaced.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Free Eyesight Checkup & Spectacles for Quake Victims

The following information was obtained during one of our distilling sessions of NGO Sit Reps.

Tanveer Optics has offered free eyesight checkup and spectacles for the quake victims (only). Tanveer Optics is located in Melody Market, Sector G-6, Islamabad. For more details please contact Syed Tanveer Ahmad at 2206620 and/or 2828239. Alternatively, you may send an e-mai to Tanveer Optics on

Please feel free to cross post/forward this to those involved in the relief work and hospital staff who are dealing with quake patients.

Volunteer Medical Staff Required

From a mailing list via Lahore Metblogs:

If any one knows a Doctor / Paramedical staff who could join NetSol's relief team to visit the disaster site, please contact any of the following (on urgent basis).

111 44 88 00

1. Shoaib Khan Tareen Ext: 203
2. Abdul Rauf Bhatti Ext: 207
3. Muhammad Rizwan Ext: 195

Helicopters may soon be grounded in Pakistan

Helicopters ferrying food and supplies to Pakistan's quake victims stranded in the Himalayas may have to be grounded in just days if donors fail to increase emergency relief aid, a U.N. official warned. Aid workers are scrambling to supply the millions of Pakistanis who have no food, water, shelter or medicine in the freezing temperatures of the Himalayas, said Robert Smith, financial expert at the United Nations' leading disaster-relief body, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Workers have resorted to rafts and pack mules to reach them, but helicopters, though costly, have proven the most useful.

"When the money runs out, the choppers stay on the ground and that's what's going to start happening in the next couple of days. One large helicopter can cost up to $6,000 ($A8000) per hour. Nobody is using helicopters for fun," he added.

Source: GEO TV

Give Them Shelter

Published: October 28, 2005 in the New York Times

THE earthquake in Pakistan has left millions homeless. Umar Ghuman, Pakistan's minister of foreign investment and a longtime customer of my foundry supply company, has asked me to help find housing for as many of these people as possible before the onset of winter in the next few days.

Tents are not protection enough, and conventional prefabricated houses are neither readily available nor easy to ship. The solution, then, is to think of something less conventional, like the work shed-greenhouse combinations sold at Sam's Club and other retailers. Such sheds - small (882 cubic feet), plastic, weather-tight, insulated and portable - retail for around $2,000. Two hundred thousand of these houses - temporary homes for a million people - would cost less than $400 million.

These sheds come in sections, such that a C5-A military cargo plane could fit hundreds of units on a single flight. The manufacturer can produce nearly 20,000 units per month, but additional new machinery could be developed promptly to speed up production. Although there are many garden structures to choose from, the one that combines both shelter and greenhouse functions is manufactured in Winfield, Kan.

Large enough to house a small family, the work shed and greenhouse, if supplied with water and seed, can also provide bean and alfalfa sprouts as well as other fast- growing vegetables. It can be fitted with solar panels for hot water and electricity. The built-in workbenches are ideal bed platforms.

Once delivered to Pakistan, the house kits could be carried in sections by the region's ubiquitous minitrucks, or even by backpackers or helicopters where mountain villages are inaccessible. An experienced team can assemble the houses in minutes on firm, dry, level ground. Their construction is both rugged and flexible enough to withstand future shocks.

This is an opportunity for the United States to present to the world a product of our manufacturing ingenuity delivered by our military might. The United States needs to regain credibility with its friends throughout the region, and the people there need housing desperately.

How about it, retailers? Can you contribute your inventory to start these houses on their way immediately? How about it, United States Air Force? Will you fly your C5-A's on a humanitarian mission?

We need to do this now, not next week or next month. Winter - with mountain blizzards, powerful winds and subzero temperatures - will come to the Himalayas in days. The commercial air freight system is already shipping blankets, tents and medical supplies. That's a good start, but it is in no way adequate for housing people in winter.

Of course we must remember the needs of our own hurricane victims, as well as the tsunami victims still in makeshift camps. But the winter storms of the high mountains present a mortal threat that demands an immediate response. We have the means. So what are we waiting for?

Alexander Saunders is a founder of Clearwater, an environmental organization.

Source: New York Times

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pakistan Embraces Internet After Quake

It is heartening to see the effect the internet has on the relief operations. Many NGO's are planning their operations with the help of the many websites keeping tabs on relief operations, news, maps, links to other organizations etc. It is much easier to just get on the internet and get information then wait around for official information. While the most important thing is getting the physical releif operations going, access to information makes organizing everything much easier.

There have still been too many mishaps with different relief operations converging on the same area while other areas nearby still hadn't received any help, and other teams (especially non medical ones) who were unsure what to do. There needs to be a way to provide those in the field with an updated picture. Cell phones work, but they waste time as people call back and forth, with numerous dropped calls in between. New teams going on should be able to look at, asses where they are needed, and go there - instead of waiting around. Don't take this as critiscm - the technology is not quite there to be easily able to do all this, but there is a definite need for a better way to get information across to those who need it where they need it.

Three weeks left to get tents to the homeless

There are only three weeks left to get shelter to the three million homeless people in Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province.

The first snowfall is expected in mid-November and the UN WHO has warned that survivors may die of hypothermia if they still have no shelter by then.

Around 540,000 tents are needed to protect homeless survivors from the harsh Himalayan winter. Officials fear that they will be around 200,000 tents short.

source: Islamic Relief

Aid distributed by IR over the last couple of days

A summary of the aid distributed by IR over the last few days. If anyone would like a full listing, village by village, contact me on muhammad [dot] ansa [at] islamic-relief [dot] org [dot] uk, and I'll send it over to you.

In Bagh, 3,500 quilts, 2,000 blankets, 176 tents, 1,000 food packs, 2,000 bottles of cooking oil, 700 kg of pulses, 779 kitchen sets and 872 mats were distributed to survivors. IR aid workers also gave out water canisters, dates, flour and plastic sheets. The aid was distributed in around 100 villages in the Bagh district over three days.

In Rawalakot, IR staff distributed over 1,000 quilts, 200 blankets, 400 tents and 1,485 food packs to survivors in around 30 villages over three days. People also received 960 kitchen sets, 300 plastic sheets and cooking oil.

In Muzaffarabad, IR staff continue to distribute aid. Survivors received 1,917 quilts, nearly 2,000 blankets, 286 tents, 259 kitchen sets, food, plastic sheets, hygiene kits and other aid items.


Kala Dhaka Neglected in Relief & Rescue Activities

Residents of 24 villages of Kala Dhaka, one of the worst earthquake-hit areas in the northern districts, have complained that no aid or relief could be provided to them even after the lapse of about three weeks of the catastrophe. Dil Faroz alias Pirbagaru said that members of National Assembly from the area Maulana Abdul Malik and provincial assembly Zargul Khan had promised the people that relief goods would be supplied to them through helicopters, but they could see no helicopter carrying relief goods during the 18 days.

According to Faroz, the worst affected villages in the area were Kan Paen, Kan Bala, Toram Morta, Zondi Zaidan, Beeran, Laridaro, Kanol, Char Sergai, Kozkai, Mori Kharwa, Ona, Janjoria, Sokal Paen, Sokal Bala, Pirkel, Sherkat, Kongar Sabe, Mera Khankel, Teegram, Teeli, Kwani Seerai, Meerabad, Shawa Naranj and Kalo Khan.

The first and foremost need in the area is that of tents and blankets, he said, adding that they had been spending the chilly nights in light Chaders (shawls). Only some non-governmental donor agencies approached the area and distributed old cloths, sweaters and quilts among some of the people, but no governmental organisation even the army had paid any visit to the area up till now. He feared if temporary shelter and blankets were not provided to them, many of them particularly women and children would die of cold that is gaining more and more intensity with each passing day. Read More....

Source: PakPositive

Pakistan Pays Up To $1,500 Per Hour For Relief Chopper Fuel

As the United Nations urges the world to move urgently and generously for quake victims, the Pakistani government is paying a high price for fuel ranging from 50,000 to 90,000 Pakistani rupees (about 830 - 1500 US dollars) per hour for different helicopters engaged in relief operations, Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general Major General Shaukat Sultan told the Pakistani daily Dawn. There are almost 90 helicopters engaged in relief operations and each one is flying over eight hours a day, he said. On average, the 90 helicopters consume 5,582,400 litres of fuel in a single day. Read More ....

Source: AKI

Thousands trapped in Pakistani tourist resort

Mohammad Bashir Zaman, a guide, is among thousands of people still trapped in the popular Pakistani tourist resort of Naran, following the devastating regional earthquake of 8 October. Whereas only two or three lives were lost in the Naran area - one of the most popular destinations in the Kaghan valley - following the quake most local people have been trapped in the area by landslides on roads, unable to travel southwards and now desperately short of food.

"The situation here is very bad. Many buildings are damaged, including the resort run by the PTDC [Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation] by the riverside, and we quite literally have no food supplies," said Zaman, speaking over the telephone.

He also reported that the first snows of winter had already fallen in the area, located 10,500ft [do we prefer metres rather than feet?] above sea level and some 280 km north of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

"Conditions now are really bad here. There has been no relief dropped by helicopter or provided through any other means. I can't understand why aid is not being dropped by chopper. Perhaps attention has not been given because the number of deaths here is very small," maintained Zaman. He added that because many buildings were damaged, people preferred not to venture into them, despite the freezing weather. Read More ....

Source: IRIN

Pakistan opens quake relief centers along LoC

Pakistan has opened earthquake relief centers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir to improve the flow of aid and movement of people affected by the disaster, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Thursday in Moscow.

"We have as of last night opened relief centers on various proposed points of movement across the Line of Control," Aziz told reporters as he prepared to return to Islamabad after attending a meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Council in Moscow.

Aziz said there were people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) who wanted to visit others and take part in efforts to provide relief to victims of the October 8 earthquake. "This will be aid going in both directions. It's not a one-way traffic," he said.

"Wherever these points open there will be relief camps for people to cross over from held Kashmir to get assistance". Indian government officials were to meet with Pakistani officials in Islamabad on Friday "to sort out the modalities" of the Kashmir border crossing points, Aziz said.

Source: The News

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Advise on tents

Please keep in mind the requirements for tents if you are purchasing. No point in wasting time and money buying tents that do not serve the purpose of winter protection (i.e. cold, snow, rain)

-The larger the better (typically 4x4 metres)
-Thick cloth / Parachute
-Insulated paneling
-Ground layer (polyprop)
-Door flaps -
-Material that is water and fireproof is preferable

Anyone else got suggestions, feel free to add.

Pregnant Women In Quake Zone At Risk

In addition to other problems, pregnant women who survived the South Asian earthwuake are now at risk for miscarriages, premature labor and death.Amid all the misery plaguing survivors of the South Asian earthquake comes another concern. Health officials worry that the quake may have triggered a number of miscarriages and premature labor among the estimated 40,000 pregnant women living in the quake zone.

That puts an extra layer of demands on Pakistan's health care system, which many experts consider barely adequate in the best of times. The earthquake not only killed at least 79,000 people, it also destroyed or seriously damaged a number of medical clinics and hospitals in northwestern Pakistan and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. A doctor volunteering at the only hospital still standing in one town says six of the 30 deliveries performed in the last ten days were stillborn, while there have also been at least ten miscarriages since the quake hit.

Source: WFMY News 2

Free Call Center for Coordinating Medical Professionals

ICNA Relief has established a free Call Center for Medical Professionals working in the field. It will coordinate the physicians and teams for Earthquake Relief. The call center relays the messages and sets up conference calls. The call center can be reached from inside Pakistan at 021-432-4064 and from the US by a toll free number 1-800-953-1269. At least 5 coordinators will be standing by 24/7 for all calls.

Source: ICNA Relief

In devastated Uri, people try to start life again

Those who are dead will be remembered and those who survived in this quake want to start their life again. This is now the general feeling in this quake hit area. People want to restore their routine work and most of the people can be seen resuming their work also.

The main challenges which authorities face in this area is immediate restoration of derailed water pipelines, reopening of schools and the stay of skilled and unskilled manpower in this area to guide and help the quake hit people to start their life again. Besides the carcass disposal is demanding more attention so that the chances of epidemic can be prevented.

"Neither we have any drinking water nor our children have any books and besides that we fear more deaths due to the epidemic in this area," said Mohammad Shareef of Dachi.

The government girl's higher secondary school, which was reopened Tuesday, witnessed the presence of fifty students but nobody had any books. The school will work in tin sheds and a nearby tent will serve the purpose of principle's office.

"We do not need any clothes but what we need is shelter. Give us hardware, timber and tin we will construct some rooms ourselves," asked Qurban Ali resident of Dullanja.

Source: Kashar

Islamabad on Five Big Fault Lines

Islamabad is situated on five major fault lines, one of which is exactly underneath the Faisal Mosque, a top official said yesterday. Allah Bakhsh Kosar, the director of the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP), and MZ Babar, a GSP geo-physicist, said it could not be determined when these fault lines will cause another earthquake. The officials said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.7 was reported a few days ago, and had its epicentre near Shahzad Town. They said that the fault lines under Islamabad were around 30mn years old.

“The earthquakes have to come sooner or later. The important thing is how well we are prepared to face them,” they said, adding that the entire country, except the planes of Punjab, was tectonically fractured. They said that the ancient civilisation of Taxila might also have perished from a severe earthquake. A major 2km fault line was situated under Havellian, they said.

The GSP officials said that when the government had planned to declare Islamabad the federal capital, its seismic zoning was conducted. Geologists had warned the then government that Islamabad was prone to high intensity earthquakes because it was situated in an active earthquake zone. The officials said that it was not advisable to construct high-rise buildings in Islamabad. They said that no building structure higher than two stories should be allowed in the federal capital, as the earth’s crust in Islamabad could not sustain the weight of high-rise buildings.

Source: Internews via Gulf Times

FRC Appeals for Medical Equipment

The Federal Relief Commission has appealed to philanthropists to donate medical equipment for the treatment of quake-affected victims.

The articles urgently required are reconstruction plates, interlocking nails, DCP Plates, DHS plates, ext fixators, AO fixators, five Steinman pins, recon nails, screws, plates and k-wiring.

Donors can contact Maj Gen Abdul Qadir on 0300-9555660, or Lt Col Ilyas on 0333-5639623.

Source: Daily Times

Earthquake death toll rises to 54,000: Sherpao

The death toll from the October 8 massive earthquake has increased to 54,000 and is likely to rise, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said here Wednesday. He told reporters that 77,000 people were injured in the earthquake that ravaged an area spread over 21,000 square kilometre, leaving millions homeless. Tents are a priority item to provide shelter to all quake affected people before extreme winter sets in, he said.

"The government is striving to shelter quake survivors in tent villages, but many people are not ready to leave their areas." he said.

Sherpao said every effort was being made to bridge the gap between demand and supply of tents. The Minister said that relief operations were continuing in full swing in the affected areas. He urged people staying near their devatasted homes at high altitudes to come down so that they could be provided with adequate shelter, medical help and items of daily use.

Source: APP

URGENT: Emergency/Broadcast Radio for Quake Survivors Needed

Internews, a leading international media development organisation, has called for immediate action to improve the information flow to victims of the huge earthquake which hit Pakistan on 8 October, leaving over 53,000 dead and up to 3 million homeless. Local media in the disaster zone has been badly affected, with public and commercial radio broadcast stations and newspaper printing and distribution facilities largely destroyed.

Internews has already dispatched a radio production unit with a team of 12 reporters to produce programmes highlighting the immediate needs for the people in quake-hit areas in the local languages. The programmes are being aired through a private FM station in Abbottabad city in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), with a signal that can reach almost all of the tremor-hit zone of northern Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

The major needs for broadcast/media infrastructure, production & training support are as follows:

- transmitters, antennas, mobile radio studios, and generators
- minidisk recorders, portable computers, satellite phones, transportation, and technical support
- field & mobile production equipment

If you are able to assist with this need or if you know someone who can help out with getting these emergency radio sets please contact Adnan Rehmat at +92(300) 850 6354 or contact the Internews Office in Pakistan at +92(51) 287 7984. Alternatively you may send an email to Adnan or Ivan Sigal.

Source: Global Voices

Urgent need for emergency radio for quake survivors

Internews, a leading international media development organisation, has called for immediate action to improve the information flow to victims of the huge earthquake which hit Pakistan on 8 October, leaving over 53,000 dead and up to 3 million homeless. Local media in the disaster zone has been badly affected, with public and commercial radio broadcast stations and newspaper printing and distribution facilities largely destroyed.

Internews has already dispatched a radio production unit with a team of 12 reporters to produce programmes highlighting the immediate needs for the people in quake-hit areas in the local languages. The programmes are being aired through a private FM station in Abbottabad city in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), with a signal that can reach almost all of the tremor-hit zone of northern Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

If you are able to assist with this need or if you know someone who can help out with getting these emergency radios please contact Adnan Rehmat at +92(300) 850 6354 or send an email to Ivan Sigal sigal[at]

New aftershocks jolt Pakistan quake-hit territories

Four aftershocks measuring up to 5.2 on the Richter scale shook northern Pakistan early Wednesday, sparking fears of more landslides after the devastating October 8 earthquake, an official said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the tremors, which came hours before a major United Nations quake donors conference in Geneva.

The heaviest aftershock, with a magnitude of 5.2, came at 6:43 am and there were three weaker tremors between 5:00 am and 9:00 am, Qamaruz Zaman, chief of the country's seismological department, told a news agency. Witnesses said the biggest shock woke people from their sleep in the capital Islamabad and the devastated city of Muzaffarabad.

"An aftershock with a magnitude of more than five can cause landslides in the hilly terrain," Zaman said.

Source: The News

ESRI Provides Emergency Response Services to Pakistan Following Earthquake

In response to the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred October 8, in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, ESRI is providing a number of geographic information system (GIS) support services designed to assist responding agencies and victims.

To request emergency software, data/imagery, or services/consulting assistance, complete and submit the Request Emergency Assistance form located at the ESRI Earthquake Response page ( All requests for assistance should be justified and show direct support for the disaster. Contact the Disaster Help Coordination team for general request inquiries via e-mail - Disaster_help[at] and include the Assist ID number and agency name in the e-mail subject line.

In addition, ESRI is working closely with URISA's GISCorps, a nonprofit organization, to coordinate short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to the affected area. GIS professionals who would like to volunteer time and services should complete the online application on URISA's GISCorps Web site. Agencies and organizations assisting in relief efforts that are searching for volunteers with GIS expertise can e-mail the GISCorps committee members at info[at] for a list of qualified applicants.

Source: Directions Magazine

South Asia: Blog Quake Day

Over the last year blogs have become instrumental in gathering support for causes and highlighting issues that have been forgotten by the Main Stream Media. Sepia Mutiny made a crucial statement - that there was no excuse to not give, when those with so little were giving so much.

So, while Kofi Annan slams countries for only committing to about a tenth of what quake victims need, victims of the tsunami—who are still suffering from their own tragedy which stole 200,000 lives all over Asia— have donated to local quake relief efforts. Maybe the world is suffering from “disaster fatigue”.

Responding to this call - DesiPundit announced Blog Quake Day on 26 Oct 2005. Calling to all bloggers worldwide to exericse their power

We request each of you to make a small post about the earthquake, and direct your readers to a suitable avenue for donating to the relief efforts… Every single dollar contributed, multiplied by the vast numbers of bloggers, will go a long way in helping these people rebuild their lives.

Blogs the globe over have responded to this call. Instapundit echoed the thought. Chapati Mystery has T-shirts whose sales proceeds will go for Earthquake relief. An appeal to podcasters. Other posts on Blog Quake Day - Sepia Mutiny, De Growchy Owl, Truth and Beauty, Veiled4Allah, Travel tales from India.

(Thanks to Neha over at Global Voices for the blog posting above)

Bali Memorial Trust

My dad's ngo is also working with the Bali Memorial Trust group because one of the heads, Dr. Abid Malik, is a close friend and a member of Friends of P.I.M.S. (dads ngo). We are trying to get volunteers together to help with all kinds of things.

Feel free to call me for any information on that. +92-333-528-9108

You know, honestly the thing these kids need most is some attention, some real value added attention. Many of them have suffered trauma we may never experience in our entire lives and are so disassociated from everything they know to be safe.

Originally, this was just a comment, but I think it deserves a post status.

I did a tour of the hospital with my entire group the other day. My dad wanted to meet us all and introduce them to Dr. Abid and see what we can do to get involved.

You know, I think I might be trying to handle too many things at once. God help me, God help us all!!!

More Money, More Solutions!

With the help of an independent group of students here from Dubai, I will be helping organize a series of fundraising concerts at Alhambra III (located in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore). We are looking to raise as much money as possible so our output will be at a minimum and our input at max. We would appreciate any help with publicity, sponsorship and any other assistance.

If anyone is able to and is interested in helping, please call me @ +92-333-528-9108 or Arsalan @ +92-321-405-0432 for more information.

Just like the rugby match, we hope that this will be a success, an even bigger one if possible, considering the cause. Many people trust us with the intentions of making sure the money and awareness is put to good use. We hope that you too can confide in us as we have many aspirations for the unfortunate victims of this travesty.


Kids Need Help in Islambad

Bali Memorial Trust along with Pakistan Dental Association has set up a camp hospital in Sports Complex, Islamabad. The patients, mostly children are brought to this field hospital for Post Operative Care. These kids are homeless, and shocked. We are doing everything we can to provide medical attention and relief for these patients. Please open your hearts to support these kids by supporting this effort in anyway possible... Read the list

Kinds of donation preferably required:

1. Cash.
2. Pillows.
3. Cooked food. (Lunch costs between 4000-5000 Rs, Dinner and Iftar costs 10,500/- Rs.)
4. Medicines (Valosef 500mg and 250mg injections. Dicloron injections).
5. Plaster of paris for casting broken limbs.
6. Surgical dressing material.
7. Pyodine.
8. Mouth wash.
9. Garbage bags.
10. Cartoon CD's for kids.
11. Adult pampers (medium & large sizes)

Pakistan Thanks you for all your help

Dr. Haroon Shahid Qazi
Clinical Secretary,
Pakistan Dental Association (Federal Zone)

Source: Karachi Metblogs

No volcano in quake-hit Pakistan - geologists

Fears of a volcano pushing through the earthquake-shattered mountains of northern Pakistan have proved unfounded, geologists said on Wednesday. People in the remote Alai valley of North West Frontier Province had mistaken dust arising from landslides triggered by a strong aftershock on Sunday for smoke, said Allah Bakhsh Kausar, of the Geological Survey of Pakistan.

"I have spoken to the geologists sent to the area last night and they said there was no volcanic activity there," he told Reuters after the army flew a team of experts to the area by helicopter.

"The dust and fog hang in the air for a while because of the cold and it triggered panic in the area," he said following the aftershock of 6.0 magnitude which had its epicentre near the valley.

"There is no crack in the mountains, there is no eruption," Kausar told Reuters.

The aftershock was one of the strongest of around 900 recorded since Oct. 8 quake, which killed more than 53,000 people and left over 75,000 seriously injured.

Source: Reuters

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tremors continue in Pakistan

The residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad remained under continuous fear and stress as another tremor of 5.0 magnitude jolted Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Mansehra, Abbotabad and Muzaffarabad areas on Tuesday evening at 7:58pm. In all, 55 aftershocks were recorded during the last 24 hours putting the total at 964. Another tremor of 4.0 magnitude jolted the capital and the other areas at 6:09pm. The epicentre of the aftershocks was in the Hazara division in northwest of Muzaffarabad.

Source: Daily Times

DIL Tent & Blanket Drive Temporarily Suspended

Following is an ugent message sent to us by the relief coordinators at YourDIL (Development In Literacy):

All collections have been temporarily suspended while the bottleneck of relief aid supplies is transported to the affected areas in Pakistan. Do not drop off any further items at DIL collection points until further notice. After such a large response the past few weeks, all cargo holds are filled with enough items to fly out for the next month. Please help us spread the word that the Developments in Literacy (DIL) Tent & Blanket drive has been temporarily suspended due to a large backlog of materials to be shipped. We will update the site as soon as the program is resumed and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

Scenic Devli village reduced to ruins

The killer earthquake of Oct 8 claimed 62 lives and flattened all 400 homes in the village of Devli, 65 kilometres to the north-east of Mansehra town. Those who survived the quake have been forced to live in the open sky. Most of those who died were women and children. Eight men also perished in the quake. Besides the village of Devli, the number of dead and injured in the adjoining villages of Nararban, Chinarkot, Sair, Chingari, Doudpat, Jabbar, Kairi, Lakhara, Pakha, Kund and Phalaila is more than 300.

“We are in an extremely difficult situation,” says Syed Farman Shah, headmaster of the government high school, in Devli. “We have nothing left”.

“The earthquake razed our houses to the ground, killed scores of our relatives and family members, destroyed our crops and cattle, cracked our mountains and polluted our sweet water fountains,” Mr Shah said.

Despite that the villagers have vowed not to move out from Devli to the newly created tent villages. “After all, we have our survived kin and family members, the forest and agriculture land, our cattle, the means of our livelihood, the graves of our ancestors in Devli village,” Mr Shah said. Most of all they are reluctant to go because they are uncomfortable with the idea of their veiled women staying in a tent village. The buildings of the basic health unit, the government high school, middle school and both primary schools for boys and girls in Devli collapsed following the quake. However, the schoolchildren were fortunate enough to be saved from coming under the debris. Read More....

Source: Dawn

Free Transportation of Relief Goods

The National Logistic Corporation (NLC) has announced free transportation of relief goods from its staging sections at Karachi, Hyderabad, (Khairpur, Sukhur), Bahawalpur, Multan, Lahore and Gujranwala untill Mansehra (Shankiari). People/Organizations who wish to donate items like blankets, tents, cloths, material for coffin and dry food items etc are requested to contact NLC's staging sections. NLC in turn will provide free transportation of these relief goods untill Mansehra (Shankiari).

Location/Concerned Person/Phone# :

Sowan & Rawalpindi/Earthquake Relief Ops Room/051-4493878
Sindh/Brig. Perzada (Khi)/021-2850384 | 021-2850386 | 0333-2158611
Sindh/Col. Kirmani (Khi)/021-9205462 | 021-5846344 | 0333-2116191
Punjab/Col. Ashiq (Gwa)/0431-3861054 | 0431-3864240 | 0300-8646145
Punjab/Maj. Atif (Lhr)/042-7512312 | 042-7512330 | 0321-8409644

Source: NLC

Nilofer urges immediate food supplies for children

Advisor to prime minister for women development, Nilofer Bakhtyar, has appealed to provide children food in relief camps set up in quake hit areas. In a statement released in Islamabad, Nilofer appealed for urgent supply of children food, milk and pampers. Those interested in supplying these items may coordinate this effort by contacting her at 9202435.

Source: Geo TV

Monday, October 24, 2005

The truth is frustrated and the facts are faded

I just received an email from someone who wanted to know the truth involved in a msg they received. This email will remain anonymous for the sake of privacy, but from what I remember when I was up there, this email paints a very accurate and appropriate picture.

I do have my reservations about what was said regarding P.I.M.S. as I have been going there quite frequently during the first few days after the victims started pouring in and I think that for its capacity, the community is doing quite well for its medical facilities. Many people have been kind enough to setup local satellite hospitals to take the load off major hospitals such as P.I.M.S. to help recovering patients etc. Although I had a positive angle about that, I am not a doctor and the gentleman who wrote this email is so he would certainly have a better understanding of the scenario.

I did imagine things to be this chaotic and the beureaucats in their high chairs need to put their jeans on and some duct tape on their incessent lips and go do some real work instead of yapping on tv like celebrities.

**Also please note I HAVE TENTS COMING IN, SO IF YOU NEED TO DISTRIBUTE OR KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO ARE, KINDLY CONTACT ME FOR FURTHER ARRANGEMENTS. These are canvas tents 12x15 feet tents and are 3300 rps a piece. If you need them in larger numbers, let me know and I can arrange for them to be made and delivered to Islamabad.**

I have just returned to Rawalpindi from Garhi Dupatta in Azad Kashmir. To be honest, I have not read any of the previous correspondence on this site -it is too painful to get involved in the petty nonsense that some people are involved in and the "holier than thou" Quranic Jargon that is being thrown in each other’s faces. If this offends someone, then so be it. I think that is important to know what is going on up there and what can be done to truly help.

THE SITUATION IN ISLAMABAD: First of all, with each passing day, hundreds are dying. I was invited to work at PIMS, so I spent a few hours there on Monday. There appears to be no sense of urgency there. To me, it seemed like just another day at a government hospital. Loads of patients in the hallways. Dozens of school kids in uniform running around, medical students involved in heavy duty poondi, junior resident level doctors sitting around in their respective offices, no attendants in sight and absolutely nothing being accomplished. There was one wound being debrided in the operating room. The CEO (or equivalent thereof) asked me to relax and rest for a couple of days! The chief of surgery happened to drop by for a meeting. I offered my services and he was quite offended by my remarks that not much appeared to be going on. I was told that in the preceding 8 days, they had placed 12 chest tubes and had performed 1 splenectomy. He was proud of their achievement. Tens of thousands dead, uncountable others injured - quite an achievement indeed. The ICU had nine patients in it. Nine. On our insistence, they agreed to send us to Mansehra.

MANSEHRA: Drove to Mansehra. The destruction becomes evident past Abbottabad. You can see the images on TV. The smell of death however has to be experienced. The government degree college in Mansehra is now a makeshift hospital. 2nd year med-students were dealing with infected open fractures, using diclofenac as pain medication. I spoke with the Swiss orthopedic surgeon running the outfit. He offered us positions as floor nurses. Literally. When I insisted that we had much more to offer, he quite impolitely asked us to leave. Balakot is about two hours from Mansehra. There is no building left standing. There are hundreds still decaying in the open. After dark, every vehicle is looted by the desperate locals. It is hell on earth. We chose not to stay.

MUZAFFARABAD: We received an offer by PIMA (Pak Islamic Medical Assoc) to man their field hospital in M'abad. I reached there Tuesday morning. The roads are extremely tenuous. There is a sea of tents of various outfits from all over the country. These are manned by a variety of people, from house officers and medical students, to high school kids. No attendants. Thousands of Indians and no chief. The hospital needed a surgeon. There is not a single qualified surgeon in the whole city. Not one. No buildings are standing. There no clean water and little electricity. Cell phones do not work. We kept moving on.

GARHI DUPATTA: I finally rendezvoused with the group from George Washington University that I had originally planned to go with. They had reached there a few hours before we did. I helped set up the field hospital. Check the map. This place is 20 miles from the LOC. It is the farthest medical facility out there. First contact point. Over the next four days, we saw about 1500 patients. We set up a two table OR and various examination stations. The major abdominal/thoracic injuries are now dead. What we saw were heavily infected wounds. Open fractures. Gross osteo. I lost count of the number of the number of guillotine amputations needed. Florid tetanus. Meningitis. Sepsis. Pelvic fractures. Numerous paraplegics and quads. People with jelly for spines. Brain exuding from open skull fractures. Ruptured bladders with urinomas in the thigh. The fascinating thing is that these people were still alive this far out. Natural selection, I guess. The fittest survive. With two surgeons, including myself, one anesthesiologist and numerous internists, cardiologists and pulmonologists, we were still busy from0600tomidnight. The army arrived the day after we did and set up a helipad and a unit next to us. We were able to evacuate about 40-50 patients each day after stabilizing them. Unfortunately, I knew what awaited them in Islamabad. We were choppered out today. We have left a fully functioning hospital to some docs from DOW. They'll be there until next week. Then a surgeon will arrive from New Jersey. Teams from Canada, Belgium and Australia have since arrived and setup in-patient facilities proximal to our hospital. Again, family practitioners, but no surgeons. We were able to send some relatively stable patients there, so as to avoid flooding Islamabad.

ASSIGNINGCREDIT/POINTING FINGERS: The US choppers are flying nonstop. Hats off to them. No nonsense. Efficient. Courteous. They flew over us to distal points, dropped some supplies, returned the remaining to be stored at Garhi Dupatta and evacuated our most critical patients out. This went on during all daylight hours. The Agha Khan foundation has acquired Swiss helicopters and was also working in a similar fashion. No evacuations, however. The Pakistani army is another story, unfortunately. There were about 300 soldiers twiddling their thumbs as we struggling to get something done. In my view, they should have been sending out teams with tents and supplies to find the countless up in the mountains that are unable to make it down. Instead, there are grand plans to make tent cities, where people are expected to come down and settle. Nuts. Every patient had the same story. Two or three kids dead. Parents dead. Siblings dead. A wife and a couple of kids injured, but still alive and lying in the open. They had to make the choice - bring the child that they thought would survive. The average trek was four days one-way.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Don't just send money to random sites. There is enough there already that needs to be distributed. Send Tents to specific people that you know will distribute them to the people still up there. Tents. Tents. Tents. Did I mention that they need tents? Clothes are a-plenty. They just need to be distributed. Once again, they need to reach the people who will wear them. The best thing you can do, however is go yourself. Find a week or ten days. Go to Garhi Dupatta. Rough it out. Do some wound care. Deliver a few babies. Treat some infections. Just do it. Do it now. The contact person is Farzad Anjum. He is a cardiac surgeon at GW. Find him on the web. He'll point you in the right direction. If tickets are in issue, tell me. I'll give the contact for the Disaster Relief Network. They'll pay for airline tickets and incidentals. Sponsors are out there. What they need is your time and effort. Once I have caught up with my sleep, I'll give you more details. I the mean time, please cut out the Bulls**t lecturing and verse quoting and buy a ticket to Pakistan. Time is running out.

Tents for Quake

Entitled “Tents for Quake,” an initiative has been conducted around-the-clock for the past two weeks to raise funds and channel them in the shortest amount of time to purchase and distribute tents in Pakistan through effective distribution networks. The tents reach small villages that have not yet been reached by any relief agency, due to the sheer magnitude of the disaster and difficult, and where people are sleeping at sub-zero temperatures at night under the open sky without any shelter.

This initiative is being carried out by a small group of friends across Pakistan, the United States and the United Kingdom. Comprising of young professionals and graduate students, the group has been informally documenting its progress at the

The group is focused on:
1) Soliciting and channeling donations, especially cash donations from the U.S. toPakistan
2) Researching appropriate avenues of obtaining high-quality goods, specifically tents
3) Finding and implementing effective distribution networks and engaging in follow-up

The group has implemented a three-pronged strategy of fundraising and reaching the affected while purchasing a combination of different types of tents available in Pakistan. To donate, and read more about their strategy, please visit and/or email tentsforquake(at)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

URGENT: Hospitals need volunteers, medical personnel & medicines.

The following sourced from an assessment by The Network, (please note that some of these numbers can't be announced over radio, so please verify with the hospital contacts before doing so):

- Holy Family Hospital:

Contact Dr Haroon. 03335198317 and Dr Naveed: 0300 516 1842

Medicines required:
1. Inj. Augmentin
2. Inj. Tetnus oxide
3. Inj Cefotaxin
4. bed sheets – white preferably
5. blankets
6. If possible: a set of personal belongings for each patient including, tooth brush,tooth paste, small towel, cold cream, one small bundle of cotton, one pair of clothes (female or male or child, anyone), one comb, one bed sheet, one soap, one plastic plate, a spoon and a plastic glass or mug. Put these things in a shopper bag and seal it with stapler.

Some volunteers who where medical students suggested that more volunteers, medicines,gloves (for the volunteers to use) and toys for the children would be useful.

- Rawalpindi Medical Hospital:
For the supply of medicines -Dr Fawad Niazi, cell: 0304 510 2444 in eye department / For tents and cloths - Dr Kausar: 0300 9788198

List of urgently required medicines and injections for earthquake victims
1. Injection Cefotaxime 1 gram
2. Injection Ceftriaxone sodium 1 gram
3. Injection Ringer lactate 1000 ml
4. Injection N/Saline 1000 ml
5. Injection Caphradine
6. 1/V cannula 22 G
7. 1/V Cannula 20 G
8. Section Cathitar “Baby”
9. NG Tubes
10. Surgical Gloris
11. Chromic 1
12. Injection Detamol
13. 1/V Cannula 10 G
14. Syp Creamafim
15. Urine Bag
16. Syp Augmentin
17. Tb. Denzen
18. Injection ZAntae
19. Sufratute
20. Injection Adrenalin
21. Injection Tramal
22. Injection Gravinate
23. Injection Neostigmin
24. Vicryl
25. L.P. Needle
26. Injection Dormicam
27. Injection Ceftrexone Sodium

- District HQ Hospital:
Dr Atiq, cell: 03335115669

They need antibiotics and pain killers, blood supplies, wheelchairs / crutches, attendants and toys.

- Railway Hospital: Dr Abdul Razzaq. Relief Coordinator IIMCT.
Mobile 0321 5216323 / Hospital - 051 9278414. 9278415.

Medicines required in this hospital are:
1 Inj Novidat
2 Inj. Augmentin
3 Tab. Danzene
4 Kleen enema
5 Inj. B Pencillinum :10 lakh unit and 5 lakh unit
6 Tab. Chymorol

The medicines required for their field hospital in Attar Shesha near Balakot. are;
1 Portable X-ray unit 100MA. With dark room equipment.
2 Surgical Instruments (General surgery 02 sets, & Orthopedic Instruments 02 sets
3 POP (Gypsona) 4” & 6”
4 Neublizer machine
5 Vaccines of tents, typhoid, & MMR ( Measles, Mumps, Rubella
6 Blood donations needed

Also require human resource in the following discipline.
1 Orthopedic/ General Specialist.
2 OTAs
3 Male Paramedical/ nursing staff.

ATTN: Information for those travelling to Pakistan (Journalists/Rescue/Relief workers)

The following notice comes from the FIA and is related to visas and journalists, relief/rescue personnel and others travelling to Pakistan to assist with disaster relief operations:

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is granting landing permit at the airports/check-posts for three (03) months on the directions of Ministry of Interior on arrival of those foreigners who are coming to Pakistan without visa in connection with relief and rescue work in the earth quake affected areas under intimation to Ministry of Interior. This facility is also being provided to foreign journalists coming to Pakistan to cover the relief and rescue work in the earth quake affected areas. After expiry of the period of three (03) months further extension, if required, will be granted by the concerned Passport Office in Pakistan for a further period of three (03) months. This decision is being implemented since 15.10.2005.

Tariq Khosa
Additional Director General,Immigration
Federal Investigation Agency

Contact No: 92-51-9260776

Blog Quake Day

Can blogs make a difference in the earthquake relief efforts? At least we can try.

DesiPundit is rallying the Indian blogosphere to help spread the word regards earthquake relief efforts. They are calling for a Blog Quake Day on October 26th. More details here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

IR's intervention over the last two days

Islamic Relief's intervention over the last couple of days:

Friday 21 October
IR aid workers distributed tents, food, blankets and jerrycans benefiting more than 5,000 people in 10 villages in the Bagh district.

In a separate distribution in Bagh, IR staff handed out 197 tents, 397 mattresses and 563 quilts, as well as food, jerrycans and warm clothes.

In the Dhirkot district, IR staff made two aid distributions of food, blankets, mattresses, kitchen sets and quilts. The first benefited nearly 4,000 people in 14 villages, the second benefited over 1,000 people in 7 villages.

In Neelum Valley, IR distributed 143 tents and 800 plastic sheets. The distribution took place in the villages of Chalayana and Baliahah.

IR staff distributed blankets, kitchen sets, mattresses and food packs in Rawalakot, benefiting around 1,400 people.


Other interesting reads:

Jamsheed Din's Diary
Stories from the field

Latest Progress Update from TCF

Thanks to Sarah Karim for the TCF's latest progress report update:

TCF's two-phased strategy on track; overwhelming need forces additions of Field Hospitals.

Immediate Relief: Our target was to provide basic care packages including tents, blankets and food rations to 20,000 affected people. Of this we have provided relief supplies to nearly 10,000 people and tented accommodation to 1,000 families. This program is vigorously being pursued.

Permanent Housing: Surveying the area and researching the best suited design for the construction of 5,000 seismically designed homes over the next two years, remains as per plan. Building new schools in these areas will be central to our reconstruction program.

TCF Field Hospitals: The plight of the injured being brought in impelled us to direct our attention to setting up 3 Field Hospitals at Neelam Ground - Muzaffarabad, Batal-Mansehra, High Court-Muzaffarabad. With the support of specialist doctors from Karachi major operations and procedures are being conducted. A team of doctors from UK is joining them next week.

More Information can be found here.

URGENT: Young medical doctors needed for medical team working with SUNGI out of Muzaffarabad

The following email came into us from Sarah Karim, an aid worker assisting Sungi quake relief ops:

I post this on behalf of a close friend who just called me from Muzzaffarabad, where he is working with SUNGI. SUNGI urgently needs medical doctors and/or final year medical students as part of a medical team to travel by foot for several hours to outlying villages beyond Muzaffarabad that have not been accessed at all as they are only accessibly by foot, and where individuals and families need urgent medical help.

If you are willing to be part of SUNGI's medical team, and can go volunteers for 4-7 days or more, please contact me URGENTLY at sarah(dot)karim(at)gmail(dot)com .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New York City Benefit Show on Oct. 21 2005

SAWCC Earthquake Relief Fundraiser
Performances & Silent Art Auction
Friday, October 21, 7pm
Asian American Writers Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, 10th floor
(btw. 5th & 6th aves, NYC)

Please join the South Asian Women's Creative Collective (SAWCC) to help raise funds for earthquake victims in South Asia. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Edhi Foundation and to community members giving direct aid at the grassroots level. Please bring in-kind donations of painkillers, blankets, and warm clothing. Home-made food will be served.

For more information on in-kind donations:

Musical Guest: Falu - "Hidden Gem" hot pick in Pop Montreal Festival, September 2005

Performances by: Alka Bhargava, Edward Garcia, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Tahani Salah, Suneet Sethi, Saba Waheed, Kron Vollmer

Visual Art for auction donated by: Jaishri Abichandani, Amanda Cartagena, Chitra Ganesh, Swati Khurana, Maxwell Fine Arts, Saeed Rahman, Chamindika Wanduragala

Directions to Asian American Writers' Workshop
N, R, Q, W, F, B, D, V, 1, 2, 3, 9 to 34th Street; 4, 5, 6 trains to 33rd Street

(From Saurav Sarkar.)

Update on SMS Reports

Further to this post, we now have a cellphone number in place in Pakistan.

So, to send messages that will appear on,

You can mail sms2blog AT gmail DOT com


You can send an SMS to Imran Hashmi at +923008568418.

Please give your location and name in your message.

Oxfam tent innovation

Oxfam have come up with an ingenious new tent based on materials that are locally available. They cost around $140 each, 6 people can sleep in them, they are easy to put together - you don't actually need any tools to erect one of these tents:

See: Oxfam innovates to tackle shelter crisis in earthquake zone

with images: here

UN warns of a second wave of death

A scathing report of the poor response of the major donors so far to the Asia earthquake.

A few snippets from the report:

Jan Egeland said of the aid sent so far: "This is not enough. We have never had this kind of logistical nightmare ever. We thought the tsunami was the worst we could get. This is worse." [...]

The UN children's agency, Unicef, has warned that a further 10,000 children could die if relief efforts are not boosted.

Mr Annan's chief aid co-ordinator in Islamabad, Andrew McLeod, told the BBC the world had failed to understand the severity of the situation. "We have one of the best organised relief operations going here, and we are just not getting the funding. If the second wave of deaths hit, it's the major donors that are going to have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask why."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

SMS updates

We now have updates via SMS on a new blog, Anyone can post there. That means you.

To post to this blog, at present, you will need a phone that can send SMSes (text messages) to an email address. Send your updates to sms2blog AT gmail DOT com

We're working on a method by which you will be able to send updates to a cellphone number. We hope to have a number from Pakistan to which you can send your messages to be relayed to this blog.

Anyone who'd like to volunteer the use of their phone number for this purpose, please email quakehelp AT gmail DOT com.

Pakistan - resources - list of tent suppliers

Ramla A of has sent in a list of tent vendors

Appeal - India - Delhi

[via email from Danish Husain]

Thousands have been affected by the earthquake in Kashmir. They are in dire need of medical and material assistance A team of doctors and volunteers from the Hussaini Relief Committee with assistance from the AMAN Charitable Trust, Delhi, have set up medical relief camps in Kamalkote area of Uri. We are trying to provide shelter, medical relief and warm clothes to the victims.

Please donate generously though cheques drawn in favour of AMAN (Public Charitable Trust). Please write 'For Earthquake Relief' behind the cheque. Your donations will be exempted from Income tax. Please send your cheques to C-651 , 1st Floor, New Friends Colony. New Delhi-110065

About Us

The AMAN Trust and the Hussaini Relief Committee set up a Primary Health Care Centre in Mattipora Village of Baramulla district in the Kashmir Valley in 2004. Land for the Centre was donated by the villagers and the Centre was inaugurated by the Divisional Commissioner. More than 3000 patients have benefited from services provided till date."

First Birth in Devastated AJK at a TCF Relief Camp

New life emerged from the ruins of devastated Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday when a woman rescued from an earthquake-devastated mountain village gave birth to a baby girl. The woman, Naseema Bibi, was outside her home in the remote Himalayan village of Paktika when the earthquake struck a week ago, her husband said.

“I’m very happy, I have a new baby,” said the father, Mohammad Munir, who had been camping out in the cold and wet with his wife and two other children since their home was destroyed.

“I was very worried, I didn’t know what to do, she was pregnant, then a helicopter came and brought us here,” he said, speaking at an emergency clinic set up in a ruined army camp in Muzaffarabad.

His wife and new baby, Fareen, were resting inside the tent. Both were doing fine. “It’s the last thing we expected,” said Adnan Asdar of the Citizens Foundation, a Pakistani aid group running the centre. “There’s some good news, we’re very happy. We’re all enjoying this for five or 10 minutes then we have to get back to work.”

Helicopters are still rescuing injured from outlying villages cut off by landslides and bringing them in to Muzaffarabad, while in the ruined city bodies are still being dug out of the rubble. Soldiers were on Saturday looking for the last of 12 employees killed in a bank in the city centre, using a digger to remove huge chunks of broken concrete and twisted metal. Read More ....

Source: Daily Times

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update Wednesday

Hey everyone its update wednesday! Well big news today, we had a giant tremor this morning around 7:32 A.M. and my God was it rough! My guess it was around 6.3 - 6.4 and it lasted nearly a minute, or it just seemed that long.

I sent an sms about it a few minutes after the occurance but it doesn't seem to be posted so I dont think it made it over the border. Angelo / Peter, kindly look into that.

Anyway, Evacuee Trust Complex rattled so work was cancelled. Schools have been cancelled since last week until th 24th, but I believe that will be pushed forward again too. This is becoming a real nuisance and unfortunately we are not becoming numb to the tremors.

Just when they started becoming small and insignificant, we had to get our knickers in a twist!


UNHCR has made it official:

For tent buying, I took the liberty of finding websites that sell and ship tents in the US and maybe even abroad.


Bizrate Camping Gear

Camping Gear Outlet



Cross-posted at

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pakistan's Quake Relief Flights Resume

A halt in heavy rains Monday allowed helicopter relief flights to resume across Pakistan's quake zone, but fresh landslides hampered efforts to move supplies by road. Officials estimated the death toll could now be more than 54,000.

Pakistan said it was willing to accept an offer from rival India to send helicopters for earthquake relief operations, but without Indian pilots - either military or commercial. The nations have fought three wars since 1947, but India has sent quake relief aid to its neighbor.

``Pakistan was ... willing to accept helicopters from India if these were offered without pilots,'' the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. ``Given the obvious sensitivities, we could not accept involvement of Indian military on our side for relief operations.''

Read more at: The Guardian

EFICOR relief efforts in Kashmir

EFICOR responded to the Jammu & Kashmir earthquake by deputing its staff on behalf of the Disaster Co-ordination Committee (DCC) to make assessment of the damages and need of the affected victims for emergency relief.

Details of updates from the EFICOR team:

Earlier updates:

Update 1:
Update 2:

Relief Goods

If anyone wishes to send relief goods by land into Pakistan or any other way, kindly feel free to contact me for how the distribution of those goods may be done best.
Right now, the biggest problem is not supply of goods because believe me there is plenty, it is coordination of the distribution and appropriate distribution.
Deserving Elders, women, children and severely injured individuals first, then the remaining villagers.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Relief material collection in Kolkota

If you live in Kolkota and wish to donate relief material for the earth-quake affected in Srinagar, this organization is collecting material including woollen blankets and tents.

The Telegraph reports on this, The first lot, comprising 50 shelter boxes, was sent on Saturday. The boxes, worth $ 1,000 each and sent by Rotarians in the US, have provisions for 10 people, including sleeping bags, utensils and water purification tablets. Fifty more boxes will accompany 6,000 blankets, 200 tents and several thousand woollens and clothes in the next consignment. Woollens, blankets and tents can be sent to 12 Sunny Park, opposite Ballygunge Post Office, Calcutta 19. Phone 22829898/97. (Link through Indian Writing)

SMS Situational Report #2

This sms just came in from Zohare on the ground:

We just experienced an intense 2 second tremor wave.

SMS Report #1 from Relief Youth Group on the ground

This is the first SMS report with more SMS reports to follow, which was sent directly from the ground via dedicated SMS lines (operating on a 24-hour basis) from a team of citizen journalists and SMS reporters in affected areas, some of whom are contributors to the QuakeHelp Wiki & Blog Network. The following SMS report came from Zohare who’s with the Youth Relief Group - Islamabad):

Time:23.15GMT/Location: Sutan Gali/Situation: Snowfall on mountains of affected kashmir. No activity from army still. People in mountains not receiving any supplies enough for residents. Access restricted for civilians due to poor road conditions.


Today is a very rainy day with hailstorms and heavy rain drops. This is going to hamper the rescue efforts and recovery work for all regions affected. The biggest concern at this moment, more than anything, is how to get these people to be self-sufficient so they can again fend for themselves.

The most important thing the survivors need now is tents. Most of the people who still have erect houses refuse to sleep inside fearful that it may collapse. One cannot blame them, they are petrified. The continuous tremors only contributes to the fear.

Another thing that is lacking, and I made a post regarding this on my blog too, that these people are desperate for anything to keep them warm. If they loot your truck its for two reasons:
1. You didn't stop and that makes them wonder if its not for them then who is it for
2. because you drive by on your way down without explaining what makes them less deserving.

I had three occasions where people started getting aggressive and rowdy, the best way to handle them is to raise your voice so as to attract their attention, do not be afraid because they don't want to be violent but if you look at their conditions, you would behave no differently.

Try to stop and talk to them. tell them that we are trying to see different places that are damaged so that we can determine how much of what is required here to help get things back on track. If you do not communicate with them, they will act out of character and that will create unnecessary nonsense. Be considerate of everyone when trying to help out. It is neither their fault nor ours. We are going to get through this if we stick together and stay focused.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Volunteers required for SOS Children's village in Lahore

From Lahore Metblogs:

Just a short info - I was working the whole day until now to help SOS with their big Earthquake Emergency Relief Programme - they are officially responsible for all children and unaccompanied woman that suffered from the earthquake ands started to prepare to take hundreds of people (maybe later also thousands). Thanks for the volunteer contact - I wrote him - I am also responsible right now to co-ordinate volunteers - so if you have more interested people please tell me (they should send short info about them, work experience and most important availability (from when and how long)). I will most probably stay here in Lahore the next week (and help co-ordinating from here)

If you are interested, please drop an email with required information to andreas.matt(at)

Asia Quake Update - IR

Latest update from Islamic Relief.

Points of note: Muzaffarabad has suffered complete infrastructural damage; Neelum Valley cut off; most IR-sponsored orphans unaccounted for.

Bad weather is hampering the aid effort and as winter approaches weather conditions will deteriorate.

Thunderstorms and rain are expected over the next few days, followed by a wave of cold weather.


The fate of many of the 174 orphans that Islamic Relief supports in the areas affected by the quake is unclear.

In Bagh, 5 orphans are unaccounted for, while in Muzaffarabad, there are 45 orphans that IR staff have not been able to contact.

Of the 38 orphans in the badly-hit region of eastern Manshera, IR staff have only managed to contact two children.

In the town of Balakot, in the North Western Frontier Province, only two out of 32 IR-supported orphans are accounted for.

Of the orphans that are safe, most lost their homes.


The city of Muzaffarabad lies in ruins. Roads, buildings, hospitals, schools and houses have been destroyed and power lines are down. There is no infrastructure left in the city. Nearly all of Muzaffarabad city's 72,000 residents are homeless.

Around 1 million people live in the district of Muzaffarabad and 35,000 deaths have been reported so far.

Aid is being distributed in Muzaffarabad, and IR staff are trying to reach people in villages around the city.

Neelum Valley

The roads to Neelum Valley are not yet open, and the whole area remains cut off from the outside world. The road between Muzaffarabad and Kuttan is damaged in 15 places and officials say it take several months before it is opened to traffic.

Around 500 deaths have been reported in Neelum Valley and around 80 percent of the people there are homeless. Food, fuel and medicines will run out soon.

Barian and Chalayana, two villages in the Neelum Valley home to about 7,000 people, have been completely destroyed.


The death toll in Bagh is estimated at 15,000 and 90 percent of the houses in the district have either been completely destroyed or are uninhabitable.

IR staff are distributing aid in the city of Bagh, and towns and villages in the district.

READ foundation lose 140 schools, many teachers and pupils dead

140 schools belonging to the READ foundation, a pakistan-based educational charity, were destroyed in the earthquake. READ have now offered to help IR distribute aid.

The Lost Children

Nisar Ahmed stares at me from across the table with a look of desperation and confusion.

The fundraising manager for the Pakistan based READ foundation has just come to the realisation that all of their 140 schools in the region have been destroyed and that casualties amongst pupils and teachers are high.

It took the charity 11 years to build up a network of 323 schools all over Pakistan and in less that a minute on Saturday morning most of those in Pakistan-administered Kashmir were reduced to rubble.

It has become more and more apparent as each day passes that children are the main victims of this terrible disaster.

"We had 1,100 teachers and 120 are confirmed dead but this number will definitely increase. There were about 22,500 children in our schools and 1600 are confirmed dead, again this is sure to increase as we have not yet reached the remote areas," said the 32-year-old.

"We have been working for ten years and it has all gone – but we will not give up and until we can have buildings we will use tents, but at the moment our priority is to rescue and save people."

Nisar was in Bagh, one of the worst affected areas, when the earth quake struck early on Saturday.

"I saw these poor people suffering when houses collapsed. I saw a four-year-old boy lying on the floor who had been crushed and it was a horrific sight.

"We didn’t even have coffins to bury the dead or stretchers for the funerals. We didn’t even have digging tools to bury them."

Their plight was further worsened by the onset of rain in the evening:

"It began raining in the evening and the children were crying because of the weather, my heart was bleeding for them.

"This has been a great tragedy for everyone but especially for the children – they have suffered the most."

Teaching is now put to the back of the minds of teachers as they focus on rescuing any survivors who may still be alive.

"We could hear the voices of children in the rubble, but we couldn't do anything to get them out. All of the teachers have lost family and children but they are starting rehabilitation activities that include help to find shelter.

Teachers to help IR distribute aid

"Our focus has now switched to saving lives and we are ready to work with anybody to do this."

Teachers from the READ foundation now offered to help Islamic Relief staff distribute food and other aid to survivors of the disaster.

"This is a great calamity and whoever can help then we need it. We need help and this means sacrifice – this is about humanity.

"In one village in Bagh, of a population of 800 people only sixteen survived. We know about one private school alone where 450 children died."

Yet despite the depressing statistics which seem to get worse day by day Nisar and others like him are rolling up their sleeves to rebuild their nation.

Talk is of a lost generation in this part of Kashmir but the people are hopeful that basic humanity will help foster a new one.

Source: Islamic Relief