Sunday, October 09, 2005

Plan begins coordinating relief efforts in Pakistan after Asian earthquake

Plan has released $200 000 for immediate emergency relief and has begun coordinating relief efforts after confirming that its communities in Mansehra district have been affected by the earthquake that struck on Saturday. Pakistan country director Mia Haglund Heelas is now in Masnsehra with other international agencies to assess the destruction and talk with the communities and local government authorities on what assistance Plan can offer.

Talking from Mansehra, she said:

“It goes without saying Plan will be involved, the quake was centred at the heart of our program areas. After working with the local communities and government for over 8 years, we are ideally placed to provide not only emergency relief but also long term development assistance”

Describing the situation, she added:

“The immediate needs are now food, medicine, blankets and tents .People are hungry, still sleeping outside with no shelter, and tremors are continuing even now. In addition the District hospital at Mansehra has sustained damage and all 650 patients are currently being treated in the hospital grounds”

The plan staff have been in telephone contact with all 52 communities we support to assess the damage. First reports form staff talk of large scale damage to buildings and infrastructure but details on casualties remain vague. Plan staff eyewitness accounts also report that Balakot city has been totally devastated with over 60% of the city destroyed. Although there are no reports of Plan staff casualties, there are concerns for some of their family members in the area whose fate remains unknown.

Relief access to Balakot is also being hampered due to land slides and the lack of earth moving machinery and the District HQ Hospital Mansehra is reporting it sunable to handle the casualties and has appealed to authorities for medicine and doctors.

For more information call Gary Walker at +66-1-984-1892

Source: AlertNet
0 Comments Post a Comment