South Asia’s most devastating earthquake struck without warning on October 8, 2005. In minutes, nearly 87,000 people lay dead, and another 100,000 severely injured. Across 17,000 square miles the earth shook violently. Homes, schools, hospitals and roads vanished in an instant. The need was immediate and immense, but within hours, CARE was at work – formulating a plan for both quick relief and long-term recovery.
Measuring a powerful 7.6 on the Richter scale, the earthquake’s epicenter struck near Muzaffarabad — about 60 miles northeast of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Although violent tremors were felt from Afghanistan in the west to India in the east, Pakistan suffered the brunt of the destruction. Most casualties occurred during the first minutes of the quake, but thousands more lost their lives in the following days as a result of severe injuries. As time passed, others succumbed to respiratory infections and other diseases. Of the survivors, more than 300,000 had sustained serious, life-threatening injuries, yet widespread damage to roads, bridges and hospitals made immediate emergency care all but impossible. Aftershocks rocked the area for days, causing further damage, and creating increased fear and uncertainty. All totaled, estimates place the cost of damage and reconstruction at more than $5 billion.
In India, where the earthquake’s devastation was less acute, more than 1,400 people lost their lives and nearly 200,000 survivors were left homeless. CARE’s response in India ended after the initial delivery of emergency supplies to more than 7,500 families. With your help, CARE was able to reach more than 37,500 people with immediate lifesaving relief in the worst-affected regions.
Leveraging support from private and institutional donors throughout the United States, CARE mounted a comprehensive relief and rehabilitation effort in the affected area. Your generous support is allowing our staff the flexible funding needed to ensure that earthquake-ravaged communities can rebuild their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of this tremendous disaster. Details of our relief and recovery efforts in Pakistan, as well as plans for reconstruction, are described in the attached report.Attachments: