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Awaran earthquake affectees await early response

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 12:50

File 20191More than 645 people have lost their lives in an earthquake which jolted different parts of Balochistan. On rector scale, its intensity was measured as 7.7 magnitudes.

In Awaran alone, it displaced more than 120,000 people while more than 90,000 people migrated to safer locations. It is reported that more than 2000 people sustained severe injuries.

This information is based on the data collected so far. Communications infrastructure including roads, telephone, schools, and hospitals has been damaged very badly. It is feared that there could be more deaths and damages as information comes in with restoration of communication channels.

The government, social activists and other volunteers have been unable to have access to remotely located villages where huge destruction is being reported.  It is feared that there would be more casualties, injuries and destruction if communication infrastructure is not restored soon.

Later, our team managed to reach remote villages where ActionAid had implemented its program activities in previous years. They held meetings with the affected community and listened to them carefully. Most of the affected families were facing severe shortage of drinking water, early medical care, food and non-food items including of shelter and blankets.

It was observed that lactating mothers and new born babies have specific needs. ActionAid Pakistan plans to bring this aspect of community need into our emergency response program design. ActionAid plans to start relief activities immediately.

Sher Khatoon is 60 years old. She lives in Thertaij village, Awaran. Earthquake inflicted heavy loss on her family. One of her daughter and a granddaughter died. She lost her home and livelihood. She says,“I was sitting in front of my mud made house. One of my married daughters had come here to stay with me. She also had a daughter. Both of them were inside the room when earthquake occurred. Our house collapsed due to powerful shocks. My daughter and a granddaughter were buried inside as there was no one to remove the rubble and save my children. It sounded like judgement day had arrived. Everywhere in the village, there were cries for help. We lost everything including the little food kept in storage. We are poor people and I am afraid we would never be able to reconstruct our house if no one comes to help us”. 

Poor people like Sher Khatoon were waiting for support from government and other humanitarian organization that a second wave of earthquake jolts hit them again. There were more death and loss of property. It terrified the people who were already living under open sky with no food, water and clothes.