IRC Teams Aid Traumatized Earthquake Survivors
International Rescue Committee emergency teams are continuing to provide urgently needed assistance to survivors in areas of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province hardest-hit by Saturday's massive earthquake.
Today, IRC teams working under severe conditions are assessing the situation and distributing food, blankets and tents to several thousand survivors in the districts of Abottabad, Manshera, Shangla and Batagram. The IRC has also deployed doctors, paramedics and stocks of medicines to support overwhelmed hospitals in these areas. IRC psychosocial counselors are en route to aid traumatized victims, particularly women and children.
In Abottabad and Manshera, IRC staff members stunned by the scale of the disaster paused to donate their own blood for survivors needing transfusions.
IRC teams who reached the heavily damaged Balakot area of Manshera say 97% of its buildings have been razed by the quake. They are working with local residents to clear the debris to find survivors, but say that equipment is needed to move heavy rubble and rescue those still trapped.
Mudslides blocked access and slowed aid to another seriously affected town, Batagram. The situation in Batagram is devastating, with dead bodies lying unburied, says Heng Djin Tjik, the IRC's deputy director of programs in Pakistan. There is dire need of medical aid and assistance.
The IRC has also deployed an assessment team to the badly hit city of Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The IRC is continuing to coordinate with local officials to reach affected areas, determine what the survivors will need in the coming days and plan distribution of emergency supplies.
The IRC has been providing humanitarian assistance in Pakistan since 1980, when large numbers of refugees entered the country from Afghanistan in the wake of the Soviet invasion. The IRC was among the lead organizations aiding victims of torrential rains, avalanches and flooding that hit North West Frontier Province earlier this year.
The IRC is accepting donations to support our emergency relief efforts. Please click here or call 1-877-REFUGEE.