Among the ruins - Afghan Red Crescent emergency medical unit deployed

Published: 27 March 2002

An Afghan Red Crescent Emergency Medical Unit is now fully operational serving the injured in the earthquake zone of Nahrin in Baghlan Province of northern Afghanistan. Local Red Crescent volunteers are engaged in search and rescue attempts.

Overnight information from the area indicates that 780 bodies have been recovered from the rubble and 500 have been buried. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach outlying villages in this remote area of the Hindu Kush.

By early this morning, the Red Crescent Emergency Medical Unit was reported to have treated 36 injured people and twelve were evacuated to hospitals in Kabul and Pol-e-Khomri.

The International Federation is co-ordinating its relief activities with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Afghan Red Crescent Society. Additional relief stocks are being sent to Mazar-i-Sharif from where tents, food and blankets for up to 6,000 families have already been sent to the earthquake zone. Eight trucks of relief supplies from the Afghan Red Crescent are also on the way to Nahrin from Kabul.

The International Federation is sending a team of relief and health specialists to support the operation and complete an assessment.For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Denis McClean, Head of Media Service Tel: + 41 22 730 4428 / + 41 79 217 33 57

Andrei Neacsu, Information Officer Tel: +41 22 730 4296 / + 41 79 308 98 41