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State Department Issues Update on U.S. Aid to Earthquake Victims

11 October 2005

United States coordinating with Pakistan to match response to needs of populace

U.S. efforts to assist those affected by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck South Asia October 8 were summarized by the Department of State in a fact sheet issued October 11.

The fact sheet, which includes details on assistance provided as of 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) updates information initially released by the White House early on October 10. (See related article.)

The earthquake, which hit a remote region in northern Pakistan near Islamabad, Pakistan, is estimated to have killed at least 30,000 people. (See related article.)

For additional information on the earthquake and its aftermath, see U.S. Response to Earthquake in South Asia.

Following is the State Department fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

Office of the Spokesman
October 11, 2005


U.S Assistance for Earthquake in Pakistan

The destruction and loss of life in Pakistan is massive, and the United States is responding rapidly and robustly. In response to the request of President Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan, the United States is providing an initial contribution of up to $50 million for relief and reconstruction following the earthquake that struck on October 8. The Department of Defense is also providing additional assistance and capabilities.  Pakistan's initial request includes emergency shelter, food, water and medical supplies, transportation assets, and emergency management personnel.  We continue to coordinate with the government of Pakistan to assess needs.

For the many Americans who will want to make private contributions to assist the victims of this disaster, we recommend that they contact the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org or the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at www.ifrc.org.

Following are details on the material assistance that has been provided as of 4:30 PM EDT, October 11.

Emergency Relief Supplies:

-- A C-17 and two C-130 arrived on October 10, carrying relief supplies, a 10-ton forklift and two cargo handlers, as well as a humanitarian coordination team.

-- Two additional C-17s are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan by October 11 and other military relief missions will follow.

-- A IL-76 carrying initial USAID/OFDA relief supplies arrived in Islamabad on October 10, including 250 rolls of plastic sheeting-sufficient for approximately 2,500 families- 5,000 blankets, and 5,000 water containers.

-- USAID/OFDA in Washington committed $1 million to be provided through the American Red Cross in response to a Preliminary Emergency Appeal issued by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. This was in addition to the $100,000 announced yesterday by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

-- A convoy of 16 trucks containing relief supplies is moving through Mansehra to Batagram.

Transportation Assets:

-- Eight U.S. military helicopters (five CH-47 Chinooks and three UH-60 Blackhawks) arrived October 10 and completed 14 sorties on October 11, and several other sorties returned due to adverse weather conditions.  The helos transported 223 passengers, more than 32,000 lbs. of supplies, and evacuated 102 casualties to Islmabad.  Some of the most severe damage from the earthquake has been sustained in remote areas not easily accessible by road.

-- Additional capabilities for damage assessment, heavy lift ground equipment, and medical support are being identified and dispatched from within the Central Command region.

Emergency Management Assistance:

-- The head of a nine-person Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has arrived in Islamabad. The rest of the team will arrive on October 12. The team's mission is to assess humanitarian needs, assist with targeting and coordination of U.S. assistance, and provide technical assistance as needed.

-- Department of Defense announced on October 11 that Navy Rear Admiral Michael Lefever has been designated to coordinate the Humaitarian Coordination Center, in Islamabad.

-- A 23-member Contingency Support Group from MacGuire Air Force Base is en route and will be involved in planning and logistics support.

-- The United States Central Command will also be supplying capabilities for damage assessment to assist the Pakistani authorities.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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