Bulletin No. 11 – South Asia earthquake
19-10-2005 Operational Update
In the aftermath of the earthquake in South Asia, the ICRC has issued an emergency appeal for additional funding and is concentrating its relief efforts on providing medical assistance, shelter, food and water to those affected.
Third day of work for basic health-care unit in Chikar
Since the ICRC set up a basic health-care unit on 17 October in the small town of Chikar in the Jhelum valley, the Japanese Red Cross medical team manning it has been pro viding first aid and performing minor surgery (such as finger amputations) on patients who do not need to be evacuated.
Another of the team's tasks is to select and prepare more seriously injured patients for evacuation by helicopter. Today, over 100 consultations were given and a dozen persons transferred by ICRC helicopter directly to hospitals in Islamabad. On its flight into Chikar, the helicopter brought along 18 tents.
The medical team itself has been living in difficult conditions since its arrival on Monday and reports very cold nights.
Some rest for Abbottabad hospital staff after thousands of surgical operations
Two ICRC surgeons, an anaesthetist and an anaesthetist nurse today joined the Ministry of Health medical team already working at Abbottabad hospital.
Their arrival followed a meeting yesterday with the exhausted team who told the ICRC that they had treated over 8,000 patients since the earthquake hit the area and performed 2,000 major surgical procedures and as many minor ones without taking a break. In order to allow them some much-needed rest, the ICRC team will stay at the hospital for the next few days.
The 100-bed hospital was itself damaged during the earthquake and many patients are being cared for in the open air. The ICRC plans to give some assistance to the hospital, which is due to be rehabilitated and more substantially supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Progress on construction of tented field hospital
The recent rainfalls turned the site of the ICRC tented field hospital at the Muzzafarabad cricket ground into mud, delaying the progress of work there. With improved weather, gravel has now been delivered to consolidate the ground and work has started up again. The tented hospital is now about three-fourths completed and the full medical team is already on the spot.
Distribution of relief in Jhelum valley
Four ICRC trucks have reached the village of Subri in the Jhelum valley (about 15 km away from Muzaffarabad). The road is gradually being cleared by the authorities, making access by land possible in spite of continued small landslides that can block progress at any time. The village housed about 1,500 inhabitants before the earthquake, up to 80 of whom were killed in the disaster.
Blankets and food rations for one month were distributed to over 260 families in the village. The situation there is not as dramatic as elsewhere since the inhabitants managed to reach Muzaffarabad by foot, enabling them to evacuate the wounded and contact relatives.
For further information, please contact:
Islamabad / Pakistan
sat. phone: ++ 88 216 89 80 41 45
attn: L. Berlemont
(ICRC Islamabad central tel: ++92 51 282 47 80 - 282 47 52)
Muzaffarabad / Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Olivier Moeckli or Raza Hamdani
sat. phone: ++ 88 216 511 012 97
New Delhi / India
mobile: ++ 91 98 11 80 66 33
(ICRC New Delhi central tel: ++91 11 24 35 23 38/97 - 24 35 43 94/95/96)
Geneva / Switzerland
mobile: ++41 79 217 32 64
ICRC Geneva press secretariat
tel: ++41 22 730 34 43
Pakistan: GMT + 5 hrs; India: GMT + 5.5 hrs; Geneva: GMT + 2hrs.