28 October 2015
More than 380 people are reported dead, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan on Monday.
'In the worst affected areas, most families have been left homeless. Christian Aid is working with partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan to deliver food, hygiene items and emergency shelter.
'We will also distribute blankets to protect them from the approaching bitter winter months, when temperatures plummet to below freezing', Madara Hettiarachchi, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia and the Middle East.
Reaching the epicentre
We have started to reach the Badakhshan province in Afghanistan, the epicentre of Monday morning’s earthquake. However, some routes to affected communities remain blocked, making it hard to assess the full extent of the damage.
Madara added: 'From experience, we know that disasters such as earthquakes have a long-term impact on people.
'An earthquake of this magnitude is likely to cause large scale damage, such as landslides and the destruction of homes and crops, and we are preparing to deal with the bigger picture once the full extent of the damage is assessed and meet the needs of the most vulnerable'.
Our partners' response
Christian Aid partner Community World Service Asia (CWSA) are on the ground today, the level of damage in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP) in North West Pakistan. They report widespread destruction. In many districts, most houses have been damaged and are not safe to live in and almost a third totally destroyed.
Aid workers estimate 1.5 million people have been affected in Pakistan alone, statistics for Afghanistan are harder estimate due to the difficulty in accessing some areas. However, we’ve been working in Afghanistan for over 40 years, reaching the most vulnerable of families through experienced local partners.
If you would like to help us equip more communities in the event of future disasters, please donate to our emergencies fund.