BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Cold weather and accessibility are the foremost challenges being faced by families hit by earthquake in the northern areas, said experts said on Sunday.
“People are suffering and are very anxious in anticipation of the extreme weather conditions,” said Nusrat Nasab, Executive Officer, FOCUS Pakistan.
“Cold weather and accessibility are the foremost challenges in this regard,” read a statement issued by FOCUS quoting Nasab.
The official said a collective effort was required to provide emergency assistance and supplies to reach communities in inaccessible areas.
“we are working closely with the authorities, United Nations, international non-governmental organisations and institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to provide emergency assistance and supplies to reach communities in inaccessible areas.”
Director general G-B Disaster management authority on Saturday praised the role of the focus and said the NGO had already placed its items in disaster prone valleys including Ghizer to respond time in case of a disaster.
Under the NGO, Emergency Operation Centres had been activated in Chitral, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad to support the local FOCUS-trained Community Emergency Response Teams in providing assistance to the affected people. “The AKDN helicopter is being utilised for evacuation and relief efforts, including airlifting the severely injured, dispatching medical teams and medicine in Chitral,” read the statement.
In addition, teams are surveying the affected areas in Northern Pakistan and compiling detailed assessment reports to identify immediate humanitarian needs.
Presently, the immediate priorities and needs of the affected populations identified include the provision of winterised tents, blankets, medicines and food packages, which are part of FOCUS’ response plan.
According to G-B DMA, at least 14 persons were killed and 92 others injured in quake related incidents across Gilgit – Baltistan. The quake destroyed 157 houses and partially damaged 406 others across the region.