Hospitals & Asylums    

Pakistan Earthquake HA-8-10-05

The Pakistan Earthquake 2005 measured 7.6 on the Richter Scale (and at a depth 10 kilometres) hit at 08.50 Pakistan time (03.50 GMT), on 8 October 2005 with the epicentre in Muzaffarabad, 95 km north-northeast of Islamabad; a highly populated region. The earthquake covered an area of approximately 30,000 sq. miles and affected nine districts in Pakistan in total: Abbottabad, Batagram, Mansehra, Shangla, and Kohistan in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Muzaffarabad, Neelum, Poonch and Bagh in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. The latest death toll in Pakistan has reached 73,318, with 69,392 injured. One British citizen was killed. Around 3.5 million people have been affected (500,000 families) and nearly 2.5 million people have lost their homes. In India official reports indicate that there were 1,307 deaths and 4,500 people injured. Estimates are that up to one million people have been affected across four districts. The Indian government has not called for international assistance.

With their homes and barns in ruins and winter fast approaching, many fear they won’t be able to keep alive the animals that survived the October 8 quake after the snow comes, so they’re slaughtering and selling them.  Agriculture and health officials say farm animals are vital for the mountain people of northern Pakistan — for both their health and economic well being — and the animal survivors of the quake must be kept alive. “We’re very frightened when farmers begin selling their assets. What happens next year?” said Keith Ursel of the U.N. World Food Program, which is helping to feed about 1 million human survivors of the quake.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) coordinator Jean-Philipe Bourgeois said many villagers had not started preparing a shelter from the ruins of their destroyed homes because they thought if they rebuilt they would not get compensation the government is promising victims. “They had heard that for every destroyed house they would get 25,000 rupees ($420),” Bourgeois said on Tuesday in the hard-hit Neelum Valley, northeast of Muzaffarabad, the ruined capital of Pakistani Kashmir. “So they thought if they started to rebuild they were not going to get the money,” he said.

Relief Web reports that the response of the Government, the Army, civil society and the population at large to the earthquake was swift and exemplary. The Government established a Federal Relief Commission (FRC) within days of the disaster to mount coordinated action for rescue and relief operations. A massive response was mounted by civil society organizations, the population at large and the affected people. The Government also created the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA) to support medium- to long-term rebuilding efforts. It functions as the main interface between the Government and international lending institutions, other international organizations, as well as national authorities and philanthropist organizations focusing on the rehabilitation of the stricken areas.

The total cost of the earthquake is estimated to be $ 5.2 billion. Of this total, the preliminary cost estimate is $398 million for early recovery. The Framework outlines strategies for early recovery in different sectors and suggests key programmatic areas, for which the UN system has considerable expertise and long-standing engagement in the country. Some of these areas include cash for work (e.g. rubble clearance), transitional shelter, micro-finance schemes for the restoration of livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, support to aid coordination, and capacity building for local governance. Donor Response remains a mystery.  We hope that the Pakistan will be successful in levying this money from the United Nations.  Judging from the United States response to the Earthquake has so far been only from private charitable organizations.  With winter setting in we must ensure that the 2.5 million refugees receive at least $1,000 of foreign assistance per individual in cash assistance and humanitarian relief through 2006.  The United Nations should try to levy $2.5 billion from national and regional legislatures to ensure the safety of the refugees through the winter that is reported to often leave several meters of snow in the hard hit mountain regions.  In one of the many precise uses of Johnson’s judgment in Alonzo Johnson v. State of Ohio 05- CV- 695 US DC S. Ohio the $750 million judgment can be applied to the United States Government share of relief effort and Europe would pay $1 billion to the Government of Pakistan. 


Table 1: Estimated Cost of the Earthquake




Death & Injury Compensation






Early Recovery



Livelihoods: grant portion



Livelihoods: non-grant portion



Other sectors









Short-term reconstruction



Long-term reconstruction






Source: As reported by UN Agencies Recovery Needs Assessments and ADB/WB Preliminary Damage and