Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The forgotten Earth quake in Pakistan

Although the quake is more devastating than the tsunami last year, it is off the news much faster. The event making headlines for days is not appearing any more even in the sideline news. Death count is increasing by thousands with slower official count at 53,000 (with 75,000 injured) but local death count of at least 78,000. The UN says that 800,000 people are still without shelter with fast approaching winter. A powerful aftershock killed 5 people and destroyed many houses among other buildings in Afghanistan on Sunday. It was just one of the hundreds that have followed the main tremor on 8 Oct. US is sending more choppers. India has been sending tons of aid and now thinking of agreeing to open soft border between the two Kashmirs.

Other individuals and NGOs are also working a lot to send aid. Especially individuals in different countries have flooded Pakistan Airline offices abroad with aid making it difficult for the airline to carry all of this to Pakistan. There is news that may be some other airlines have also offered free air cargo space including Gulf, Emirates and Turkish airlines (still to be verified). But other governments need to do more. The same they did for tsunami - if not more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Update on Earth quake relief in Pakistan

There are still 500.000 quake victims unreached. More than 49,739 are confirmed dead. 67,000 injured. Local officials estimate more than 79,000 deaths.
The region needs more tents than the whole world has. Govt asks for another 500,000 winterized tents.
two strong aftershocks (5.8 & 5.4 strength) have caused more landslides and panic. Aftershocks continue since the quake.
Relief efforts going on despite a relief helicopter crash killing six army men.
Two weeks from now, it will start snowing across the hilltops.

UN says that this earthquake 'is UN's worst nightmare'. "Here we've got over 15,000 villages spread out through the affected region. The affected areas are much larger in geographical size than the tsunami, and rather than being in flat coastal areas, we are operating in some of the highest mountains and deepest valleys in the world." (UN quoted by BBC)
UN has received only 5% of aid ($13 million) it requested ($272 million) from the world.

Tent type recommended by BBC:

  • Heavy duty tent designed for long-term use by a single family

  • PVC groundsheet sown onto the sides for windproofing and to retain warmth

  • Some types are designed to accomodate cooking stoves

  • ICRC estimates that 30,000 such tents are required in Pakistan

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Need of Earth quake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir

Latest reports say that 41,000 are dead and survivors face extreme weather with torrential rains and sudden drops in temperature. Night temperatures fall as low as 6-7 degrees Celsius (43-46 degrees Fahrenheit).

I have come to know that the greatest need at hand is for tents/camps. 2.6 million people are homeless in the region. About half a million camps are needed. Aid money is reaching Pakistan but there is a great shortage of camps. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with the need but its too slow requiring more than a week for enough production. So people around the world can help by sending camps to Pakistan. The best type may be 4x4m water-proof camps. Refugee camps should be cheaper. PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) is carrying all stuff (only new) free of cost to Pakistan from around the world. Click here to find out the nearest PIA office:
Click here for a list of PIA's booking offices with Telephone numbers and addresses:
(Alphabetized by cities, like click F for Frankfurt, L for London, N for New York etc) "

There is also need for other stuff. These include warm clothing, kitchen utensils, canned food and water, medicine, construction tools and everything you can imagine. The United Nations has launched an emergency appeal for $272m to help victims of the South Asian earthquake.

Some lists by friends include Syringes, Drips, Antibiotics (Generation 2 and 3), Candles, Ropes, Tents, Disposable X-ray machines, Small generators, Fuel, least-perishable and ready to eat food, Small sized milk packs, Biscuits, Torches, Coffins, Masks for volunteers, Small bottles of mineral water, etc.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sending aid from Germany through PIA

In Germany, PIA is not dealing with individual donors. Instead donors are redirected to organizations in Frankfurt who are coordinating this effort in collaboration with PIA. Please drop warm stuff like tents, blankets, sleeping bags, jackets, pullovers and medicine at them. They are only accepting new stuff. Only tents can be second-hand, but in good condition. Please pack the goods in big cartons or fasten them together in big lots with ropes and put labels on them listing the items included.

If you have a lot of stuff, you can contact Pak consulate directly to get a NOC and then deliver it to PIA cargo at Frankfurt airport. Phone no of consulate is +4969421012. NOC can be obtained via fax at: +4969421017.

An organization "Humanity Trust" is sending tents etc to Pakistan via PIA and intends to send the remaining stuff through other transport services. They have collection points in all major cities. Contact Zubair Khalil Khan at 069-50688663 or 069-95095787 to find out a location near you.

One of the collection points in Frankfurt is:
Masjid Dar-us-salam
Mr Arshad Mir
069-235688 (masjid)
069-98401867 (office)
069-844538 (home)
Address of Masjid to drop equipment:
Muünchener str 55 (near Hauptbahnhof), Frankfurt a.M. or
Gewinner str 18, Riederwald, Frankfurt a.M.

Second organization is:
Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen

Monday, October 10, 2005

Earthquake disaster in Pakistan and Kashmir

It is a big disaster in Pakistan. The number of deaths started from 1,000 and climbed to 19,000 and now to 30,000 (CNN). Please stop counting!!! Most of the destruction was caused in areas of Kashmir offering no access to officials or agencies. 35% of affected area is unreached. Entire towns have been vanished. 2.5 million people need shelter (equals Asian Tsunami victims). 70% of Pakistani Kashmir capital Muzaffarbad is destroyed. The weather is near freezing at night. Even worse are the heavy rains in the area. God help those people.

People around the globe are helping and we as Pakistanis should be ahead of all of them. I initially found the following list of organizations to donate to.

International NGOs ==>

Islamic Relief


Kashmir International Relief Fund


Red Cross/ Red Crescent

For Germany (without credit card) ==>

Islamic Relief (Germany)

Muslime Helfen

Unicef Germany

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross)

Long list of NGOs at ==>

My friends are trying to find contact of Edhi trust in Europe (their Bank IBAN number). This will also be trust worthy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

German Education System and Ramazan in Europe

I passed the exam...and with flying colors. It was an oral exam - my first such. Since there is no course fee, you can attend classes of any courses you like. But you have to register for exams to take them. One also has to give the courses one wants to be examined in each semester. The professor took my exam in English. He had problems understanding terms used in his German course and i had problem understanding the questions. He concentrated on Maths, whereas the course also included computer sciencs, mechanics and electronics. One of his researchers was sitting beside us noting down the exam for resolving of later claims by students. I got the 1.3 points (GPA system here works reversed as in Pakistan). My colleague did better getting 1.0 points.

Today starts Ramzan here in Europe. Last night some of us went to Turkish and others to Arabic mosque. We were told by Turkish that Ramazan starts tomorrow, but we received call from other friends that Arabs are starting Taraveeh. So we rushed there. Turkish are said to follow a scientific calender for Ramzan so know in future all the dates. Arabs on the other hand have a central organization for sighting the moon in Europe and has branches in different countries. The German branch of this orgnanization declared today to be the first of Ramazan. We have Iftaar in the mosque today two hours from now - yum yum...