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Operational update on the humanitarian activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent in response to the Asia quake - 13 October 2005

Thursday October 13, 2005


The UN estimates that four million people have been affected by the earthquake with at least 500,000 people displaced. An aerial survey of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir, has revealed that 70 per cent of the city has been damaged.

Many people continue to live in the open and with winter approaching, there is an urgent need to distribute to them items such as winterised tents, stoves and warm clothing.


Transportation of personnel and relief supplies remains a challenge. The destruction of infrastructure and the lack of pre-existing infrastructure in some areas is a significant restraint. In some areas of northern Pakistan, these problems have been compounded by heavy rainfall.

Red Cross/Red Crescent response

Within minutes of the quake the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) deployed 10 ambulances to affected areas of Islamabad to provide first aid as well as transport injured to nearby hospitals. Local PRCS teams in the Kashmir area were also deployed to support search and rescue activities.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) has issued a revised appeal (as at 13 October) for $72 million to assist 750,000 (150,000 families) for 6 months. The funds will be used to provide food, tents, blankets, cooking sets, health care etc for survivors.

A 16 member Field Assessment Coordination Team (FACT) to Pakistan. This team will assess the immediate as well as longer-term needs of affected communities.

In addition, a total of 11 Red Cross Emergency Response Units (ERU) have been deployed from around the world. These include:

  • 1 mobile field hospital (to be established in Muzaffarabad)
  • 4 basic health care units
  • 2 logistic units
  • 1 IT/telecommunication unit
  • 1 water treatment and supply unit
  • 3 water and sanitation units
Red Cross/Red Crescent aims to meet the immediate shelter, supplementary food needs, basic health care, first aid and emergency transport needs of 150,000 vulnerable families (750,000 people) in affected areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, North-West Frontier Province and Islamabad.

So far eight trucks of Red Cross/Red Crescent relief supplies have reached Muzaffarabad in Kashmir and a further three have reached Rawalakot in North West Frontier Province. In all, Red Cross/Red Crescent has provided:

  • 350 tents
  • 1470 blankets
  • 14,000 kg of clothing
  • 4,200 kg of salt
  • 14,000 kg of flour
  • 3,500 kg of Ghee
  • 1,428 bottles of mineral water
  • 700 food packs*
*Each food pack consists of 5kg rice, 5kg sugar. 3 kg daal channa, 400 grams tea, and 1 kg milk powder.

Some 150 tents, 700 blankets, 12 cartons of medicines and 400 food packs have also be dispatched to Mansehra, a city just to the east of Muzaffarabad.

In the coming days, Red Cross/Red Crescent staff and volunteers will distribute a further 20,000 tents, 100,000 blankets and food, helped in part by the mobilisation of three helicopters and 40 additional trucks.

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is currently operating a dozen medical camps in affected areas in Islamabad, North West Frontier Province, Mansehra district and Punjab province.

In India, the Kashmir branch of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) immediately started distributing pre-positioned blankets, kitchen sets and clothing to affected people and communities. So far, 1,000 blankets and 500 kitchen sets have been distributed by 400 IRCS Jammu and Kashmir branch volunteers.

The International Red Cross is now working with the IRCS to deliver 500 family size tents, 47,000 blankets and over 10,000 cooking pots in Jammu and Kashmir.