First US Relief Supplies Arrive in Pakistan
10 October 2005
The first U.S. cargo planes have arrived in Pakistan with supplies for victims of Saturday's earthquake.
The flights began landing in Islamabad late Sunday with food, water, medicine, and blankets for the thousands of people left injured or homeless.
The White House says a total of five relief flights will arrive in Pakistan by Tuesday, with more relief missions to follow.
U.S. Central Command says that Pakistani Brigadier General Imtiaz Sherazi will coordinate relief shipments as they arrive, and work to see that assistance is distributed quickly to areas that need it most.
The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Ryan Crocker, said Monday that the United States' swift response to the disaster reflects its "long-term strategic relationship" with Pakistan. He said the beginnings of a major relief effort are underway.
In addition to supplies, the United States is sending eight of its Afghan-based helicopters to help with rescue efforts, and has pledged $50 million for earthquake relief and reconstruction.
In India, where the death toll is much lower, the United States has pledged $100,000 in emergency relief funds and offered to provide whatever assistance is needed.
Indian and Pakistani communities in the United States are also collecting funds for the victims. The Los Angeles-based organization, Islamic Relief, has launched a $10 million appeal for emergency assistance. The Council on American Islamic Relations, based in Washington, also called on American Muslims to contribute to the relief effort.
On Sunday, mosques and a number of Christian churches across the United States offered prayers for the earthquake victims.
Some information for this report provided by AP.
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