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Pakistan - Jordskælv i Kashmir-Himalaya

PAKISTAN: More than 18.000 dead following regional earthquake

IRINnews.org, 9. oktober 2005

Jordskælvet, der ramte Pakistan lørdag morgen formodes i øjeblikket at have kostet mere end 18.000 mennekser livet, mens over 40.000 menes at være såret. Epicentret lå blot omkring 10 km fra Muzaffarabad, der er regionshovedstad for den pakistanske del af Kashmir. Epicentret lå ca. 10 km under jordoverfladen og jordskælvet forekom meget tæt på brydningskanten, hvor den indiske kontinentalplade skubber sig ind under den euro-asiske plade med en hastighed på omkring 4 cm om året.

©  U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Hazards Program
Den sorte linie viser grænsen mellem Indien og Pakistan. Den violette linie viser brudfladen mellem den indiske kontinentalplade og den eur-asisiske plade. Den orange markering viser epicentret blot 10 km fra Muzaffarabad, der er regionshovedstad for den pakistanske del af Kashmir. Afstanden til Pakistand hovedstad Islamabad er ca. 90 km og til Srinagar, hovedstad i den indiske delstat Jammu & Kashmir er omkring 125 km.

ISLAMABAD, 9 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Rescue, relief and damage assessment missions were busy across the region on Sunday, after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit mountainous parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan a day earlier, causing widespread devastation.

In Pakistan alone, more than 18,000 people have been killed accoding to the Pakistani army, while another 40,000 have been reported injured across the northern hilly terrain of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, parts of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA).

“The death toll will rise as several areas were still not accessible as of yesterday, due to bad weather and depleted road conditions,” Major General Shaukat Sultan, spokesman for the Pakistani army, said. President General Pervez Musharraf called the disaster the worst in the nation’s history and appealed for urgent international assistance.

The government said its priorities were to evacuate those in need of medical care, establish treatment centres on the ground, and provide shelter for thousands of homeless people. Clearing debris from roads was also of prime importance, in order to get aid to hundreds of villages currently cut off.

While parts of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir are among the worst hit areas, reports of massive destruction, including the collapse of multi-storey buildings in urban areas across northern parts of Pakistan were still being received on Sunday.

In several towns and villages in northern Pakistan, almost 80 percent of houses have been damaged or collapsed, the government has estimated. In the capital, Islamabad, and in accessible areas, rescue teams are still pulling survivors out of the rubble, 24 hours after the earthquake struck.

The earthquake, which struck just before 9 a.m. local time, caused buildings to sway for about a minute in the capitals of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - an area some 1,000 km across. Most of the devastation occurred in the mountains of northern Pakistan, where the dead included 250 girls crushed at a school and 200 soldiers on duty in the Himalayas.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 110 km northeast of Islamabad, in the forested mountains of Pakistani Kashmir, and was followed by 22 aftershocks.

Pakistan army teams have been leading rescue efforts, using helicopters to carry mobile medical teams into quake-hit areas of Pakistani Kashmir and parts of NWFP. But many more helicopters are needed to evacuate the large number of casualties and ferry in emergency supplies to areas cut off by road, Musharraf said.

A seven-member United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team arrived in the capital late on Sunday to support the emergency response to the disaster. Search and rescue teams from the UK, Japan and China are also heading to Pakistan to assist in the rescue operation. Several other nations have also offered assistance.

Humanitarian organisations in Pakistan, including the Red Crescent, have said medicine, food, blankets and tents are all urgently needed, and in large quantities.

The Pakistan/Afghanistan chapter of the Church World Service (CWS) has already sent 600 tents to some of quake-hit areas while food kits for some 50,000 people living in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and NWFP are on the way.

“The winter has started and the night temperatures have significantly fallen across the northern hilly areas,” Rubina Zulfiqar, working with CWS in the capital, Islamabad, said.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 9.1.2006