Shamim Masih outside Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar
One way which Churches and Christian groups can contribute to the work of the BPCA (Click here)
At least 300 people were confirmed dead and more than 2,000 were reported injured in the aftermath of the massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake which hit northern
Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday, 26 October, 2015. Shamim Masih, BPCA lead reporter, immediately visited Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar to meet
and encourage victims who survived the catastrophe. He talked to the traumatised patients and inquired about their health.
According to the ‘National Disaster Management Authority’, (NDMA), more than 200 people died in the devastated region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) alone,
and 1,500 people sustained injuries. This and other areas have become no travel zones, and due to a lack of local hospital facilities patients have
been driven or airlifted out for treatment, with many of them arriving at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, the capital of KPK.
Dr. Mohammad Arif, DMS at Lady Reading Hospital, spoke of how the hospital reacted. He said:
” Our hospital was put on hight alert and we received 205 patients. Fortunately 166 patients were discharged with minor injuries after having received all necessary treatment; 35 are still admitted and are undergoing treatment, of whom around 15 are in a critical condition. Sadly 4 of the patients died on the way, and we send our deepest condolences to their families”.
NDMA have reported that 4,500 houses have collapsed or were severely damaged by the earthquake. The most affected areas are the cities of KPK : Shangla,
Chitral, Swat, and Buner districts.
The Mayor of Peshawar, Arbab Mohammad Asim said:
“Many houses and buildings have collapsed in the city, people were trapped under piles of wreckage but we have managed to free most of them, however we
have been advised by officials that the toll of the dead and injured throughout KPK is set to rise.”
The provincial government in KPK and army officials have been collaborating to provide assistance to the victims.The army has sent medical workers,
tents and rations by road to the the north-west town of Dir and by air to Chitral.
General Bajwa, ISPR spokesman, said: “While landslides on the famous Karakorum Highway are being cleared so we can get help to more areas, most of the damage is reported from Buner, Swat, Shangla, Dir and Malakand. We are doing what we can and help is being airlifted into the harder to reach areas. We believe that the numbers quoted for deaths and injuries will increase.”
According to NDMA estimates, 1486 people were injured in KPK, 59 in FATA, 30 in Gilgit Baltistan, 78 in Punjab and 12 in AJK.
No Christian in any region has so far been reported as injured or dead. Bishop Humphrey Peter, of Peshawar Diocese which includes KPK, said:
“We have received no reports of any parish member injured or dead in the entire Peshawar diocese including those in KPK. We are really thankful to God
almighty for his protection towards His people. There are minor cracks in the buildings of a couple of churches in Abbottabad and the residence of
Pastor Rafique in Abbotabad, but most of our buildings remain unscathed.”
Shamim Masih said:
“I have met many of the victims of this most recent tragedy. They are all really shaken up by it, their communities have been affected by every flood and
earthquake in recent years. These communities will need our help once the roads have been cleared as there will be those who need ongoing medical
care and a chance to rebuild their lives once again. It is our Christian duty to help these victims and to share the love that God has for them. So
many of them have lost all they have and really need our help, I hope the BPCA can respond.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“I am deeply moved by this tragedy, but thankfully the impact of earthquake is much smaller than that of 10 years ago when 73,000 people lost their lives.
It is at a size and scale where a group such as ours can have some real impact and share the love of God with victims. We are hoping we
will have a good response from donors to enable us to do this, but as yet we have no donations for this appeal. We thank God that despite the magnitude
of this earthquake being potentially the worst in the country’s history, casualties are relatively few.”
“The fact that no guidance has ever been provided to endangered communities in Pakistan of what to do in natural disasters is a concern. The Government
of Pakistan once again failed to inform communities of a potential threat despite warnings from the United States Geological Survey, which again highlights
the need for a robust early warning system for natural disasters. We will be writing to the Government of Pakistan with our suggestions of how we believe
they could respond more effectively.”
The BPCA would like to help victims with more immediate concerns such as food parcels to help them through the coming months, warm clothes to survive the
extremely harsh winter in this affected area and any ongoing medical costs that they will be left with after the emergency team pull out. We
would also like to share some audio bibles with people and we are in the process of purchasing 60 that will be shared with those affected by the recent
floods and now this earthquake. If you would like to help with donations towards the cost of this aid relief then please read below.
For consolation for families who have lost loved ones and those survivors who are injured to make a fast recovery.
Roads will be cleared quickly and aid can be brought speedily to those in need.
Jesus’ love and the Gospel will be shown as aid and audio bibles are distributed amongst victims of other faiths.
The government will see the need to alert people quickly to the threat of earthquakes and to put action plans in place.
Proverbs 19: 17-19: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.”
Please give to our disaster appeal. Your donation can be sent using these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Ref: Love for Pakistan: Urgent Earthquake Response
For international donations please use these details:
IBAN: GB62 BARC 20442243163318
Alternatively you can use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, our PayPal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheques should be made payable to the BPCA to our address: 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION is a trading name for BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LTD which is a charity entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1163363
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Pakistani Christians.