Harsh weather conditions making survival difficult for the earthquake affected communities

Harsh weather conditions making survival difficult for the earthquake affected communities

The earthquake survivors of the October 26th earthquake are currently enduring harsh conditions due to accessibility issues and the unavailability of basic lifesaving support in the affected regions of the two hard-hit quake countries. The fear of another such deadly earthquake striking remains in the hearts of the survivors as they have been experiencing aftershocks for the third consecutive day.  As of now, the earthquake has claimed a reported 387 human lives, has left 2,577 people injured and 34,746 houses destroyed in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The earthquake has resulted in extensive damages to the infrastructures in both the countries.  Buildings, roads, bridges and telecommunication networks have been severely affected in the quake hit zones. According to the initial findings of Community World Service Asia’s need assessment reports, the affected communities are in immediate need of food support, winter kits, emergency health assistance and nonfood items.

Pakistan: A total of 272 reported people have died, 2,152 people have been reported injured and 25,376 houses have been damaged leaving thousands of people homeless and without shelter in Pakistan so far. These communities are currently spending their nights under the open sky. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the hardest hit province of the country where the damages are reported to be around 60- 70percent of that of the whole country’s damages. Due to the region’s mountainous and harsh terrain, receiving accurate figures of damages is challenging and time consuming. The severe cold weather of the affected areas is further making survival difficult for those affected. Some families have taken refuge at their neighbors’ or relatives’ homes who are already pressed with the lack of day-to-day resources.

Needs Assessment Result: Since the affected communities are faced with harsh weather conditions, they are in immediate need of winterization kits, food and health support. It was found in the needs assessment report from Swat and adjacent districts that rumors are emerging around compensations and relief provisions to affected populations. The main news being one that the Government is providing s compensation to affected people. Due to this, they have started submitting applications to Government departments and the local consular regarding their selection for relief assistance. In reality however, the Government has not yet announced anything regarding compensating affected people. These rumors should be addressed in the community immediately before it leads to conflict between government representatives and the local community. This indicates a lack of available information to the communities.

A total of seventy four aftershocks have been recorded since Monday in the many quake hit cities of Pakistan. Rain and snowfall has been forecasted in the affected regions in the coming days which will further intensify the harsh weather conditions undoubtedly adding to the difficulties being faced by the affected populations. As per the Met Department, relief activities in these areas are feared to be hindered due to the expected landslides.

Afghanistan: As of today, a total of 115 people been reported dead, 500 injured and 9,370 houses completely damaged due to the earthquake in Afghanistan.  Among the twelve affected provinces of the country, Badakhshan, kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan and Takhar are the worst affected.

Initial reports suggest damages to public infrastructure including schools, clinics and government facilities. Access to quake-affected areas continues to be a significant challenge in the response process due to the rugged topography and high security situation in the most severely-affected parts.

Emergency Shelter, winterization kits, food assistance, and water & sanitation have emerged to be the immediate needs of the earthquake affected communities in Afghanistan.

Response by Community World Service Asia: Community World Service Asia’s emergency response teams have completed their assessments in Pakistan and are currently finalizing the assessment reports. The needs assessment in Badakhshan, Laghman, Kunar and Nangarhar in Afghanistan have also started.

The assessment findings revealed that the affected communities require winterization kits, food, shelter and health support immediately. Community World Service Asia’s Mobile Health Unit shall be fully operational in district Shangla from tomorrow and shall be providing basic emergency health care services to the affected communities. Winterization support and food shall also be started in the coming week while the response will be extended subject to the availability of funds.

Kindly read the attached document on “Key Messages on Quality and Accountability during humanitarian response to Earthquake affected communities” and share it further. Also read our first story from the field @ http://communityworldservice.asia/rain-my-familys-savior/ .

Please follow our live photo update from the earthquake affected areas on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/communityworldserviceasia/

Download Key Messages on Quality and Accountability

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Email: fazil.sardar@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Nejabat Khan Safi
Associate Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: nejabat.safi@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +93 799 326 628

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

OCHA Afghanistan