Released 7 November 2008
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The Salvation Army in Pakistan is providing assistance to some of the thousands of people made homeless by an earthquake in the north of the country. The tremor, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, struck the region near the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday 29 October, killing more than 200 people and destroying whole villages, leaving 45,000 people without homes. Severe aftershocks continued to be felt for another three days, making access difficult.
The Salvation Army leadership in Pakistan responded quickly, sending experienced emergency workers Captain MacDonald Chandi and Major Khuram Shazada to the affected region the day after the disaster. Meetings with provincial government leaders and with Brigadier Sikander of the Pakistan military have been very positive. The Salvation Army has been assured full cooperation.
Captain MacDonald says the immediate need is for suitable temporary accommodation, especially tents and blankets or quilts. Food and medical help are being provided by other non-governmental organisations. The captain is currently working hard to source tents that will withstand the rigours of winter and allow people to survive until spring, when reconstruction can begin.
Captain Elizabeth Hayward (International Emergency Services Coordinator) says the team in Pakistan is doing an outstanding job in difficult circumstances but adds: 'We need funds to allow the team to help as many people as possible. The situation is desperate - people are dying.'
Donations can be made on-line at www.salvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.