Temperatures Plunge Across Earthquake Zone

Posted: 
01/05/06

Many communities in Pakistan’s earthquake-affected areas
still remain cut off despite the resumption of helicopter flights
on Wednesday and the clearing of some main roads. Bad weather and
snow last weekend that caused landslides had severely affected
relief work.

In addition to the snow, a cold snap due to last until the
weekend has meant earthquake survivors and aid workers have had to
cope with abnormally low night-time temperatures and chilling
winds. More snow is forecast for early next week.

With many tents having collapsed under the weight of the snow,
IOM is coordinating shelter assessment teams from other NGO’s
as well as sending its own staff to evaluate tents and distribute
additional plastic sheets, blankets, and tarpaulins. Collapsed
tents will be re-erected and 20,000 handouts (in Urdu, English and
Pashto) of proper tenting techniques will be disseminated by UNHCR
to all the camps. Next week, spot checks will also be carried out
in villages at higher altitude to provide similar assistance.

“The snow storm has been very hard on the people living in
tents, and very frustrating for our staff who have been unable to
distribute critically needed relief items when their need was the
greatest,” says IOM’s chief of mission in Pakistan,
Hassan Abdel Moneim Mostafa. “This winter will be a struggle
for everyone.”

IOM has shipped 8,000 shelter kits from Islamabad to its forward
distribution bases over the past 10 days. An additional 6,000 kits
(along with 3,000 sets of jackets, socks and gumboots for children
aged six to eight) have been purchased and will be arriving after
the weekend.

IOM and other agencies have now wrapped up major operations in
Kahuta, Haveli District, which has received sufficient shelter
material for the winter. After weeks of careful negotiations and
community outreach to begin operations in the Federally
Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of Kala Dhaka in northwest
Pakistan, IOM as emergency shelter coordinator has crafted a
multi-group response to the shelter needs in the area. A shelter
cluster assessment had found that the earthquake had affected
170,000 people, many of them living between 5,000-9,000ft ft high
up.

On 27 December, 50 elders from five regional tribes met in a
Jirga with IOM’s Mary Guidice, the emergency shelter
coordinator for the region, and other key international NGO and NGO
leaders.

The tribal leaders promised security measures for international
aid workers, and IOM, ACTED, World Vision, and Church World Service
agreed to send in assessment teams to the five represented tribes
and begin relief deliveries. Other agencies have also agreed to
assist in the relief operation. The first shelter kits have already
been delivered and more will follow according to ongoing
assessments in the region.

For more information, please contact:

Saleem Rehmat

IOM Pakistan

Tel: + 92 300 856 0341

Email: "mailto:srehmat@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">srehmat@iom.int