Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dear Friends:

On October 8, 2005 at 8:50 am a magnitude 7.6 (on Richter scale) earthquake hit Pakistan with the epicenter of the quake located near Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-controlled Kashmir), approximately 60 miles from Islamabad. According to the varying estimates between 54,000 to over 80,000 have perished. Furthermore, approximately 80,000 were injured and over 3 million people are internally displaced. It is estimated that between 400,000 to 800,000 of the affected population have yet to be reached, many of them ill and injured. Three weeks post-earthquake, aftershocks (magnitude between 5.4 and 5.9) have further deteriorated the infrastructure of the affected area. The situation has been further worsened by the weather and difficult terrain.

With donor fatigue apparent even the United Nation operations have been affected. According to estimates the relief effort is short of over $100 million in the next few months. With around 60 countries pledging $580 million for relief efforts in Geneva, only $15.8 million or just 20% of the money the United Nation needs for basic relief was designated or promised for immediate delivery. With the brutal Himalayan winters approaching rapidly and relief supplies and teams not reaching some areas compounded by an apparent donor fatigue, time might be running out for many of the survivors. However good intention of the aid agencies, without global monetary support a lot more lives will be lost. The global community is faced with a social challenge and needs to step up as this crisis will define its future role.

Please send your comments/stories and have your friends send their comments and stories to Pakistan Earthquake.
Rashid Chotani


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