Pakistan earthquake - aid workers safety
While the toll mounts from the widespread area hit by the 7.7 scale earthquake on Tuesday in south-western Pakistan, an army helicopter with VIPs came under attack making it unsafe in that area for ground workers.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
President of the Pakistan Relief, Mujtaba Haider Imran AP2MI, said government officials put the death toll at 349, more than 600 injured and many hundreds of homes destroyed. The deaths are climbing as the teams move in the area spanning 300 kilometres between Kech and Avaran.
Pakinstan Amateur Radio Society members have been prepared to provide some emergency communications support to the disaster relief operation in the remote and thinly populated area.
In the affected area is Umair AP2MUT, expected to give more information on the devastation and needed supplies. Roughly an area of 500 kilometres is affected, with many houses destroyed. There have been 16 aftershocks recorded so far.
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, "There are certain areas where aid couldn't be provided even after 48 hours". The Minister was also engaged in talks to resolve an earlier incident. In a safety advice to aid workers, they were told that for the time being, on ground relief activities are not being considered safe. The warning came after the attack on an army helicopter carrying senior government officials including Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority.
Meanwhile Pakistan Army Aviation, Frontier Corps and ANF helicopters are busy providing relief to the affected population in Awaran, Kech. Those severely injured are being sent to the hospitals in nearby cities. Some local health units have crowded facilities and have run out of medication to offer even basic first aid.
Pakistan Relief has donated 2500 jerry cans, 1500 mosquito nets, some first aid kits and other essential equipment. The coordination process is underway with Pakistan Air Force and Army Aviation to airlift and drop these goods in the worst hit areas.
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee).
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