Balochistan: Snows Accompany Urgent Quake Relief
National and international aid agencies are hurrying aid to Balochistan as winter snows begin to fall, making shelter a major priority.
Below is an article written by Michael Heath and published by Bloomberg.com:
Pakistan's government ordered extra aid be shipped to the country's earthquake-devastated southwest as survivors faced icy conditions with the approach of winter.
The United Nations Children's Fund has estimated that 70,000 people were made homeless after the powerful quake struck Oct. 29 in the Ziarat and Pishin districts of Baluchistan province.
“It will start snowing in Ziarat before long, perhaps within weeks, and I must have shelter for my aged parents and my children,” 35-year-old Dildad Khan told the UN news service IRIN. Khan said he is searching for someone to lend him money to immediately start rebuilding his home, adding that his elderly father is already suffering from a bad cough and fever.
The quake left more than 300 people dead, according to Pakistani officials. The government is dispatching another 30,000 tents and 100,000 blankets to the sparsely populated area bordering Afghanistan, according to the official Associated Press of Pakistan.
Reconstruction efforts have been hampered by aftershocks.
“I put up a kind of shack from materials taken from my house as I and my family were literally freezing without a roof over our heads,” Aleem Khan, 30, told IRIN. “But it collapsed when another quake hit” on Nov. 1, he said.
At least 4,000 houses were destroyed by the magnitude-6.4 temblor, according to the UN.
“I will only be able to put this fear behind me and get on with life when I and my three children are back in our home, indoors, where we feel safe,” 25-year-old Zakia Bibi told IRIN.
The U.S. is sending $2.5 million for the aid effort, Saudi Arabia has pledged $100 million and the Chinese and Malaysian governments have offered to provide support for the earthquake victims, APP said.