Responding to the
7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck South Asia October
8, the United States is rushing relief supplies and personnel
to the affected area, the White House said October 10.
Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a three-story hotel that collapsed in Islamabad, Pakistan, following the devastating earthquake on Saturday, October 8. The United States is providing an initial contribution of up to $50 million for relief and reconstruction and has dispatched an initial airlift of humanitarian supplies to the affected region. (© AP/WWP)
The earthquake, which hit a remote region
in northern Pakistan near Islamabad, Pakistan, is estimated
to have killed at least 30,000 people.
The White House said that in response to
a request from the government of Pakistan, the United States
is providing an initial contribution of up to $50 million
for relief and reconstruction and would continue to coordinate
with Pakistani officials to assess needs.
Pakistan’s initial request for aid,
the White House said, included emergency shelter, food,
water and medical supplies, as well as transportation assistance
and emergency management personnel.
A C-17 U.S. military aircraft transporting
blankets, winterized tents and other relief supplies arrived
in Islamabad October 10, the White House said. A second
C-17 and two C-130 aircraft were scheduled to arrive on
October 11 and other military relief missions will follow,
the White House said.
The initial airlift of relief commodities
was sent to Pakistan on October 8 and included 250 rolls
of plastic sheeting, 5,000 blankets and 5,000 water containers,
the White House said. Those supplies began arriving in Islamabad
October 10 from U.S. Central Command in Afghanistan, according
to the U.S. Defense Department.
In addition, the U.S. Agency for International
Development has committed $1 million, to be provided through
the American Red Cross, in response to an a preliminary
emergency appeal from the International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies. These funds are in addition
to the $100,000 announced October 9 by the U.S. Embassy
in Islamabad (see related article),
and the $100.000 announced October 10 by the U.S. Embassy
in New Delhi (see related article).
The Defense Department announced October
9 that it was sending eight helicopters to the area to help
bring emergency relief to communities and villages –
many of which are in remote areas not easily accessible
by road. “Additional capabilities for airborne reconnaissance,
heavy lift ground equipment and medical support are being
identified and dispatched from within the Central Command
region,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in
an October 9 statement.
Rumsfeld also said he would designate a
task force commander in the region “to work with the
affected governments, to assess their needs, and to draw
on U.S. military capabilities from inside and outside the
affected region as may be available and required.”
Subsequent to Rumsfeld’s statement,
the Defense Department announced Lieutenant General Karl
Eikenberry, commander of the combined forces command, Afghanistan,
will spearhead the formation of a U.S. military task force
to help coordinate the distribution of U.S. aid to the earthquake-devastated
areas in the coming weeks.
“Our prayers go with those who have
lost loved ones in the terrible situation,” Rumsfeld
The White House also said emergency management
assistance personnel were being dispatched to the area.
A seven-person disaster assistance response team began arriving
in Pakistan on October 10 to assess humanitarian aid, target
and coordinate relief, and provide technical assistance.
In addition, a 23-member contingency support group was en
route to the area October 10 from McGuire Air Force Base
in New Jersey to help in planning and logistical support.
The White House also recommended that Americans
who want to make private contributions to the assistance
effort should contact the American
Red Cross or the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
statement is available on the Defense Department Web
Information on assistance provided by the
Central Command is available on the command’s
For additional information on the earthquake
and its aftermath, see U.S.
Response to Earthquake.
Following is the text of the White House
statement on the U.S. aid effort:
White House Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 10, 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 will 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
being provided as of 8:00 PM EDT, October 9.
Emergency Relief Supplies:
• A C-17 U.S. military aircraft containing
blankets, winterized tents, and other relief supplies was
scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on October 10. A second
C-17 and two C-130s are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan
on October 11 and other military relief missions will follow.
* On October 8, the US dispatched an initial
airlift of relief commodities to Pakistan including 250
rolls of plastic sheeting-sufficient for approximately 2,500
families- 5,000 blankets, and 5,000 water containers. The
commodities are scheduled to arrive on October 10.
• 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.
• Initially, eight U.S. military helicopters
(five CH-47 Chinooks and three UH-60 Blackhawks) to assist
in bringing emergency relief to communities and villages
affected by the earthquake should arrive Monday. Some of
the most severe damage from the earthquake has been sustained
in remote areas not easily accessible by road. The helicopters
will facilitate the delivery of relief supplies to these
remote areas in Pakistan.
• Additional capabilities for damage
assessment, heavy lift ground equipment, and medical support
are being identified and dispatched from within the Central
Emergency Management Assistance:
• A seven-person Disaster Assistance
Response Team (DART) will begin arriving in Pakistan on
October 10. The team's mission is to assess humanitarian
needs, assist with targeting and coordination of U.S. assistance,
and provide technical assistance as needed.
• A 23-member Contingency Support
Group from McGuire 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.
Released on October 10, 2005