Pakistan: Baluchistan earthquake

25 September 2013

A powerful earthquake has struck the Awaran district of Baluchistan in Pakistan, killing at least 250 people and forcing thousands from their homes.

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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has flattened villages and forced thousands of people to spend the night in the open air.

CAFOD's humanitarian team is consulting colleagues from the Caritas network of Catholic aid agencies, who are standing by to respond.
Robert Cruickshank, our Head of Humanitarian Programmes, said:

"Whenever earthquakes strike, the most immediate priority is the rescue effort for trapped and injured civilians.

"But in the days and weeks afterwards, the humanitarian needs take over: thousands of people may desperately need shelter, clean water, food and medical supplies, and there will be an urgent need to stop the spread of disease, particularly from contaminated water supplies and inadequate sanitation.

"Around the world, CAFOD has an extensive network of Caritas sister agencies and local partners through whom we can deliver support. Our partners in Pakistan are on standby, ready to respond to this disaster if they are needed."

In 2005, CAFOD responded to a major earthquake in northern Pakistan, which killed thousands of people and left millions homeless. More recently, we have responded to the floods that devastated the country in 2010, and the subsequent floods of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.
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