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Pakistan

Web Desk
September 26, 2019

UAE, Japan, and UN offer assistance for Pakistan earthquake victims' rehabilitation

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Sep 26, 2019
An elderly woman walks past the debris of a collapsed house in an earthquake-hit area on the outskirts of Mirpur, Kashmir, September 25, 2019. AFP/Aamir Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's ally nations — including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan — as well as the United Nations have offered help for the earthquake victims' rehabilitation, an official of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said, adding, however, that the country had “all needed resources” to deal with the disaster.

The UAE's ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Alzaabi, offered his country's assistance to Pakistan late Wednesday, writing on his Twitter account: "I have received direct instructions from Abu Dhabi to provide all kinds of support and assistance to families and areas affected by the earthquake in different parts of Pakistan.

"We are currently assessing the needs with NDMA of Pakistan, our condolences to bereaved families,” he added.

Data collected from the a 5.8-magnitude quake-hit areas, comprising Azad Jammu and Kashmir and cities of northern Pakistan, revealed that 39 people were killed and some 454 homes flattened by the earthquake, the tremors of which hit again Thursday, leaving 75 people injured.

Further, more than 10,000 individuals were severely impacted by the earthquake.

Fears of Thursday's fallout from another powerful tremor sent hundreds of people into the streets and put local hospitals on alert, with an AFP reporter describing the shaking as "a wave going underneath the earth" and the US Geological Survey putting it at 4.7-magnitude.

Mumtaz, the NDMA deputy-director for media, spoke to Arab News about the offer of assistance in relief and rehabilitation operations from ally nations.

"The UN country representative in Pakistan has offered full support especially for rehabilitation of women and children in the affected areas," he said.

“Japan [has] also contacted us to support the quake victims,” he added, noting that Islamabad was not currently open to foreign assistance as it had the “all needed resources” at hand.

Among the relief items the government had already distributed to the earthquake victims were tents, food, kitchen utensils, blankets, and fresh water, while rescue teams were in the affected areas with life-saving drugs and surgical kits.

Mumtaz, on the other hand, added: “We will hopefully be able to start the rehabilitation process within a week or so.”

Initially, the rescue teams had to battle along badly-damaged roads and comb through toppled buildings to reach victims of the earthquake that had left 39 dead and injured hundreds more.

The last major earthquake tragedy in Pakistan occurred back in October 2015, when a 7.5-magnitude quake had killed almost 400 people across a rugged terrain that had impeded relief efforts. Prior to that, in October 2005, a 7.6-magnitude left over 73,000 people dead and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Kashmir.