1st report (9 Oct) Kashmir
First report 9 Oct 2005 following Kashmir Earthquake.
Following the earthquake yesterday all the children at the SOS Children’s Villages are believed safe. SOS Children’s Village Muzaffarabad, like the rest of the town, was badly damaged. As construction work had only just been completed on this new Children’s Village, the village was not inhabited; the children were due to move in this week. As a result, no children were hurt.
Current estimates of 33,000 people have been killed following the devastating earthquake which ripped through large areas of Northern Pakistan and India on 8 October. It is not known how many earthquake orphans have been left but in many cases the timing suggests more children than adults were killed. All the SOS Children's Villages in the area, apart from that in Muzaffarabad, appear to have suffered only minimal damage. Local SOS Children staff have begun providing emergency assistance.
The town of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, was close to the earthquake’s epicentre and has been completely destroyed. People are wondering about in a daze, carrying with them the few possessions they managed to salvage from their wrecked homes. The city's main bazaar is devastated, and only a very few buildings are left standing. The town’s entire infrastructure has collapsed: water and food supplies are low, and there is no electricity. Telephone lines are also down, making it very difficult for people to contact relatives and friends. Emergency packs put together to support those affected by the Kashmir earthquake
SOS Children has established an emergency programme for the survivors of the earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir. The first thousand emergency cartons have been flown to Muzaffarabad, and sent on by road. Women and children from Kashmir are being housed in temporary shelters in Islamabad. SOS Children is working with the local authorities and the army to organise temporary shelters for the affected people.
The other six SOS Children’s Villages in Pakistan and all SOS Children’s Villages in Northern India suffered only minor damage.