At the end of October 2015, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck north-western Pakistan. The German Red Cross supports the repair of the immediate damages as well as of long-term effects.
When we hear about an earthquake in the media, we learn about the immediate, obvious consequences of the disaster. However, many fatal damanges only become visible in the weeks after the disaster. This is also the case in Pakistan, where an earthquake devastated the north-western part of the country in October 2015. More than 2,000 people were injured, 280 lost their lives and over 98,000 houses were damaged.
The Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) launched an immediate emergency operation, provided first aid and handed out relief items - with support from the German Red Cross. The worst-hit regions were the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the F.A.T.A. at the Afghan frontier. With many power and communication lines broken down, damaged infrastrucutre and ongoing snowfall, it was difficult to bring external aid to some of the affected regions.
Preparation and experience as helpers in emergencies
In the case of an emergency, the experience and the network of the German Red Cross take effect. In Pakistan, the GRC operates three offices with international delegates and more than 30 local employees. This enabled us to assist the Pakistan Red Crescent in bringing immediate aid to the victims of the earthquake.
Already in the year before, the German Red Cross had supplied its partner with relief kits each comprising of tents, a small oven and further tools in the province of Khyber Pakthkunkhwa - as a disaster preparedness activity. Shortly after the Earthquake, these kits could be handed out to 223 affected families in the severely devastated region of Shangla. Over 880 families in the strongly affected districts Shangla and Chitral also received cash payments (Cash Transfer Program) to cover their daily needs regarding food, medicine, clothing, school supplies, etc. Such activities strengthen the local markets in the affected villages and thereby secure a piece of everyday life in this exceptional situation. Many volunteers of the Pakistan Red Crescent were involved in the activities. In the last few years, they were trained to provide first aid, carry out need assessments and to organise distributions to people in need.
Relief items and tools for shelters
Providing aid quickly after an earthquake is essential. Therefore, the staff and volunteers of the Pakistan Red Crescent were on site immediately after the disaster had happened. They handed out relief items and tools to build emergency shelters for 1,940 families. Furthermore, emergency response teams delivered medical care to 3,400 disaster victims and ensured the referral of emergencies to nearby hospitals. As part of the emergency response, more than 5,000 families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, F.A.T.A. and Gilgit Baltistan were supplied with shelter, food, relief items and financial support as well as medical care by mobile health teams.
Region: Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, districts Shangla and Chitral
Funding: Donations (GRC)
Partner: Pakistan Red Crescent