27 October 2015
Red Crescent emergency teams are continuing to help rural communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan after a powerful earthquake struck the region.
The 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan yesterday afternoon.
It has claimed more than 300 lives across the two countries. At least 2,000 people have been injured.
The remote location of the epicentre in Afghanistan means that the full extent of the damage and number of casualties are yet to become clear.
Wary of winter
Winter has already arrived in northern Pakistan with heavy snowfall making many areas inaccessible. Heavy rains over the coming days could also trigger further landslides.
“It’s vital that we act quickly as the severe winter weather will threaten the lives of those who have lost their homes,” said Ben Webster, British Red Cross head of emergencies.
“The earthquake has destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, so people are going to need our support rebuilding houses and their livelihoods.
“Red Crescent volunteers and staff in Pakistan and Afghanistan are doing all they can to reach people with emergency relief.
“We’re ready to support the National Societies in any way we can through the Red Cross and Red Crescent network.
“The death toll is likely to increase while it will be a few days until we get a complete picture of the damage and needs of communities.”
Red Crescent response
Pakistan Red Crescent emergency response teams were immediately deployed to the affected regions in the north of the country to help communities and assess the damage.
Volunteers and staff have also been providing first aid and transporting causalities to hospital in Peshawar.
Food and other relief items for 6,000 families are ready to be dispatched from Islamabad as needed.
The Afghanistan Red Crescent is working to assess the damage inflicted by the earthquake, although access to affected areas is problematic.
The epicentre of the earthquake was in Badakshan province, 130 miles below the Hindu Kush mountain range, in north-eastern Afghanistan.
The mountainous terrain makes communication and access difficult, while there are also security concerns in the region.
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