Bulletin No 7- South Asia earthquake
15-10-2005 Operational Update
Muzaffarabad hospitals overwhelmed
With a significant increase in the number of wounded people reaching Muzaffarabad from outlying areas, the medical facilities in the town are finding it difficult to cope. The most serious cases are being airlifted to Islamabad. Military and ministry of health units are managing their arrival. So far some 100 cases have been transported in ICRC helicopters.
The hospital in Abbotabad is also reported to be under severe pressure.
Staffing for the ICRC's field hospital on the cricket ground is now complete. It will be operational early next week if there are no further logistical constraints. It has been provided by the Finnish and Norwegian Red Cross societies. Two basic health units provided by the Japanese and German Red Cross societies are now available to the ICRC's Muzaffarabad operation.
The ICRC is now seeking staff for two additional basic health units that will support the hospital by providing emergency and other health services at centres in the valleys.
Muzaffarabad water supplies
ICRC engineers started work today on repairing the main water treatment plant in the regional capital. The main damage is in the plant itself. The piping system has for the most part remained intact opening up the prospect of a resumption of water supplies for many parts of Muzaffarabad.
Situation in the valleys
Heavy rain disrupted helicopter relief flights today. However, 18 wounded were evacuated from the Jehlum valley to Muzaffarabad, and 42 from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad. An assessment mission also reached Chikar district in the Jehlum valley. The district has a population of about 150,000 scattered in over 80 villages and suffered some 8,500 fatalities because of the earthquake. There are still many wounded people in need of help. The ICRC plans to deploy the basic health unit of the Japanese Red Cross in the area tomorrow, weather permitting.
A private company has provided the ICRC with an additional 6,000m2 warehouse, free of charge, in the town of Manshera. Once operational, this warehouse will provide excellent logistics back up, as it is closer to the disaster area than other sites.
Restoring family links
Hospital visits in Islamabad to re-establish links between family members who have been separated, was reinforced by 25 volunteers yesterday. Over 30 " I am alive " messages were collected for transmission to families, details of 25 separated children were registered and over 50 telephone contacts were arranged.
Similar visits to Peshawar hospitals will start tomorrow followed by other towns where wounded people have been transferred.
An Indian Red Cross-led convoy of four trucks left Srinagar for Tanghdar today. It carried 28 doctors and medical supplies, as well as tents, blankets and kitchen sets provided by the ICRC. Relief materials from the ICRC were also sent to Baramulla in an IRCS convoy and a consignment of ICRC tents, blankets, kitchen sets and food arrived in Poonch today in IRCS trucks despatched from Jammu.
For more information please contact:
ICRC Islamabad central tel. no: ++92 51 282 47 80 - 282 47 52
sat. phone ++ 88 21 68 98 04 145
Olivier MOECKLI or Raza HAMDANI
sat. phone ++ 88 216 511 012 97
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)
mobile ++41 79 217 32 16
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.