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Kashmir Earthquake Update


sos shelters in kashmir

SOS Children staff in the field are reporting that the weather conditions in the earthquake-hit areas have worsened dramatically. It has started to snow and temperatures are dangerously low, leading to increasing numbers of weather-related deaths.

As official custodian of unaccompanied and orphaned children, SOS Search and Rescue teams have brought another 64 children this week. The children are currently being cared for in either the SOS Emergency Shelter in Rawalpindi or at the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore.

17 December 2005 saw the end of the visit of Princess Salimah Aga Khan, International Ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages, who had arrived at Islamabad International Airport on a cargo flight together with a further 100 tons of relief goods, including winter-proof tents, blankets, sleeping pads, winter clothes for children, high protein food supplements and bottled water.

During their 3 day visit, the Princess’ party visited the SOS Children's Village in Rawalpindi (twin city of Islamabad) and met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, at his residence in Islamabad before flying on to Muzaffarabad. Here they visited an SOS emergency shelter and the partly destroyed SOS Children's Village, which had been due to open just days after the terrible earthquake and was fortunately was still empty. During the visit, the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir spoke of the disaster, "On October 7 I was Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. On October 8, I was Prime Minister of a graveyard."

The party also took time to visit the tented hospital that SOS set up at the Garhi Dopatta base camp, high in the mountainous area of Kashmir. The hospital is in good company, with the Pakistani national earthquake rebuilding and reconstruction authority (ERRA) having decided to move its headquarters from Muzaffarabad to Garhi Dopatta as well. Doctors based at the hospital are currently trekking to surrounding towns by foot to identify families in need of shelter and providing them with tents.

10th Report

Relevant Countries: Pakistan.

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