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Asia quake needs linger

The death toll from the devastating Oct. 8 earthquake in Pakistan is expected to reach 86,000.

BY HEATHER MOYER | BALTIMORE | November 11, 2005

As international relief agencies continue to provide emergency supplies, the death toll from the devastating Oct. 8 earthquake in Pakistan is expected to reach 86,000.

The 7.6 magnitude quake struck in the northeastern part of the country. North India was also affected. Many agencies - such as the United Methodist Committee on Relief and Lutheran World Relief - are working through Action by Churches Together (ACT) to help the thousands of homeless and injured families still in need of emergency relief.

ACT estimates that some 2.8 million people are homeless, and with winter approaching, the urgency to get families into safe and warm housing is even more extreme. With the help of its partner agencies, ACT is providing food, blankets, medicine and shelter kits to thousands of families.

LWR is sending quilts and medical supplies to ACT for help in setting up Health Camps, which are aimed at serving 50,000 to 100,000 people.

Church World Service Paskistan/Afghanistan (CWS P/A) is also active in the earthquake response. The agency reports that more than 3.5 million people were affected by the massive quake. According to a CWS P/A release, a United Nations representative said that while the job of feeding and sheltering the affected people is 'colossal,' it is possible with cash and coordination.

CWS P/A is helping to distribute tents and address malnutrition amongst the thousands of children in tent cities. ACT and CWS P/A are both assisting in the fight against disease among the survivors and making sure that the families have clean water. Both agencies report continued worries about getting emergency aid to rural and mountainous communities, many of which are not easily accessible because of rugged terrain and are already in the beginnings of the frigid winter.

According to a CWS P/A situation report, the agency and its partners have distributed a total of 6,580 shelter kits and 3,884 food packages - which have helped more than 70,000 people - in the hard-hit areas of Battagram, Shangla, Mansehra and Balakot.

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