Helston based ShelterBox among first to respond to Pakistan’s devastating earthquake (From Falmouth Packet)
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Helston based ShelterBox among first to respond to Pakistan’s devastating earthquake
4:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
Cornwall-based disaster relief charity ShelterBox was among the first to respond to Pakistan’s devastating earthquake, using stock already pre-positioned in Islamabad.
Disaster aid charity ShelterBox has responded rapidly to the earthquake
The 7.7 magnitude quake, at a depth of 13 miles, struck yesterday afternoon north-east of Awaran in Pakistan's remote south-west province of Balochistan. It was so severe it has claimed at least 250 lives, and even created a new island off the coast near the port of Gwadar.
Houses have been flattened and thousands of people were forced to spend last night in the open. Balochistan is Pakistan's largest but least populated province, and is prone to seismic activity.
ShelterBox was already working with the country’s National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) in the region distributing emergency shelter to families displaced by recent flooding.
Operations Coordinator Dave Ray said: "We have a history of working with NRSP in emergency situations and recently they have been acting as our implementing partner in Pakistan, distributing ShelterBox disaster relief tents that we had prepositioned in Islamabad to communities left homeless after flash floods.’
"When we received the alert that an earthquake had hit the same region, we immediately made contact with NRSP to see how we could assist. Within hours, our tents were loaded onto a truck and are due to arrive later today in the affected area to be delivered to families who have been left with nothing after the quake.
"Most of the homes in Awaran are made of mud brick and collapsed easily when the tremors struck. Officials are saying as many as 90 per cent of houses in the district have been completely destroyed. Rescue efforts were made overnight, and local officials fear they will find more casualties under the rubble.
Tremors were felt as far away as Delhi in India and Dubai in the Gulf, while workers in other Pakistani cities ran out of buildings in panic. NRSP’s emergency response teams are carrying out urgent needs assessments so when the ShelterBox tents arrive they can be given straight away to those families most in need.
ShelterBox’s aid model sees aid pre-positioned worldwide so it can reach disaster zones without delay.
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