At 2.09 pm on Monday 26 October local time, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocked Afghanistan, Northern India, Pakistan and Tajikstan. According to the latest information, 395 have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan with 2,269 injured. A total of 116,639 houses were damaged.
Infrastructural damage was most extensive near the epicentre of the quake in both the countries. Access to the affected provinces is most difficult due to the volatile security situation in Afghanistan and the rugged terrain in both the quake hit countries.
The decreasing temperatures in the affected zones is another hurdle in accessibility to the areas. With no appropriate shelter, the earthquake hit communities are forced to face the harsh winter in compromising conditions, struggling to meet their basic survival requirements.
CWS partner Community World Service Asia has teams working in Pakistan’s Shangla, Kohistan, Buner, Malakand and Swat districts. Further teams are preparing to work in Badakhshan, Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar in Afghanistan. The teams are working in close coordination with district authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
Community World Service Asia has sent food aid, winterisation kits and emergency health services to badly affected Shangla district with funds on hand. So far the Mobile Health Clinics have seen 1,853 patients over 12 days of operations in Shangla district. A second basic medical team has seen more than 600 people in Kuzkana. By December 10th they had seen 4,090 earthquake affected people in their Out patient department. 2271 patients were women and infants, and 1820 men and children. A total of 1033 laboratory tests were conducted to diagnose illnesses among affected communities in the mobile Laboratory and Kuzkana Basic Health Unit.
They desperately need more help to reach many more families who have lost so much.