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Bulletin No 2 - South Asia earthquake

10-10-2005 Operational Update


  ©Reuters/Amit Gupta, courtesy    
    Estimates of the number of casualties from Saturday's earthquake on the Indian-Pakistan border continue to rise. It will be some time before the real extent of the disaster becomes clear. Figures for the number of dead range from 20,000 to 30,000, with many more injured. The UN has estimated that 2.5 million people may have been made homeless. Most of the dead are in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The number of dead on the Indian side of the line of control is put at almost 900. The damage to housing has been extensive. Reports from Muzaffarabad say 75% of the buildings there have collapsed.
Due to landslides, most roads leading to the hardest hit areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir are blocked. However, an ICRC team was able to reach Muzaffarabad today to assess the situation and needs of the victims. After contacts and discussions with local authorities and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the priority of the ICRC is to provide shelter and emergency assistance to the people who lost their homes in the quake. The ICRC is currently dispatching important medical emergency assistance that will reach the area over the coming days.
The first emergency consignment of 10,000 blankets and 2,000 tarpaulins (sufficient to assist about 4,000 families) is currently on its way to Abbotabad from ICRC stocks in Kabul. In addition, ICRC Amman has dispatched 4,000 family tents. Furthermore, the ICRC in Pakistan is in the process of establishing an operations centre in the affected area to expand its humanitarian assistance to the most remote of the affected areas.
As part of an initial phase of assistance, the ICRC is dispatching essential household items such as blankets, cooking utensils, oil, stoves, winter clothing and footwear for up to 50,000 people.
The ICRC is working in close collaboration with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies. In addition, the ICRC is also in regular contact with the governments of Pakistan, local authorities and other humanitarian organizations.
In India , the ICRC is working in close coordination with the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and notably its local Jammu and Kashmir branch.
Today, a joint Indian Red Cross/ICRC team reached Uri with a first consignment of material assistance consisting of dry food (sugar, tea, salt, vegetable oil etc.), vegetables and medical supplies, which were bought locally. The team will also assess the general situation and further material emergency needs in the affected areas of Baramulla and Uri. It will also start work to re-establish family links. In preparation for the larger relief operation that will follow, an assessment of logistics and local infrastructure is also under way.  

  ©Reuters/Mian Khursheed, courtesy    
    The team reported that the situation is difficult and destruction massive in and around Uri. Reports say that 65 villages in the region have been completely destroyed and about 30 others suffered badly. Even houses still standing may have to be pulled down because of structural damage.
The main priority is tents, as many of the local population are staying close to their destroyed houses in the hope of recuperat ing some of their belongings buried under the rubble.
No other precisions are available as many villages are still out of reach and information has not come from these isolated areas. So far, figures available mention 500 killed in Uri and between 100 and 120 in Kupwara, Baramulla and Tangdhar.
Government agencies are responding to food and medical needs and have made free telephones available to the population.
On 9 October the IRCS dispatched 1,000 blankets and several hundred kitchen sets to the Baramulla and Uri areas by truck. The material was made available from local emergency stocks that the ICRC had helped set up in Spring 2005 following major avalanches in the area.  

For more information please contact:



 Leyla Berlemont  

 mobile ++92 300 850 81 38  

  attn: L. Berlemont

(ICRC Islamabad central tel. no: ++92 51 282 47 80 - 282 47 52)

languages: English/French/Arabic

 New Delhi/India  


 Caspar Landolt  

 mobile ++ 91 98 11 80 66 33  


(ICRC New Delhi central tel. no: ++91 11 24 35 23 38/97 - 24 35 43 94/95/96)

Languages: English/French/German/Portugese



 Vincent Lusser (from Monday)

 mobile ++41 79 217 32 64  

Languages: English/French/German


 ICRC Geneva press secretariat  

 tel. ++41 22 730 34 43  


Please note that Pakistan time is GMT +5 hrs, India time is GMT +5.5, Geneva is at GMT +2hrs.