A powerful earthquake struck Badakshan Province in Afghanistan on October 26 and also affected a large area of Pakistan. According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 7.5 quake struck at 1:39 pm local time and was 121 miles (196 km) deep. Initial media reports indicate at least 177 people have been killed in Pakistan, with the majority of the fatalities occurring in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or KPK. Some 33 were reportedly killed in Afghanistan. An additional 1,000 are reportedly injured.
With over 1,000 people reportedly injured immediate medical aid is critically needed. This figure is also expected to rise, as rescue operations begin to unfold and reveal the extent of the damage. Initial reports indicate that many homes were destroyed and a great number of people are homeless, totally exposed to the elements. Ongoing assessments will also continue to reveal the most critical needs.
International Medical Corps has been in the region for 30 years and has trained personnel in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to respond immediately to the most critical needs. It is expected that immediate medical aid, food, shelter and winter bedding and cloths will be the first priority as snow fall has already started in some of the affected areas. Specific interventions will continue to be determined based on the results of ongoing assessments
Since its inception more than 30 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance and is what ensures a long-term impact in the communities we serve.