Red Crescent responds to Afghan quake

Published: 26 March 2002

The Afghan Red Crescent Society is sending an emergency medical team into the Nahrin district of Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan following a series of earthquakes overnight and a stock of relief items is being made available for dispatch with a UN convoy due to leave Mazar-i-Sharif later today.

The Afghan authorities in the capital, Kabul, have appealed for assistance. Unconfirmed reports speak of about 1,800 dead and many injured, and around 4,000 houses destroyed with 10,000 displaced. The initial quake measured 6.2 on the Richter Scale.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has stocks of relief items for 5,000 families including tents, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans available to go with the first road convoy into the stricken area which is 160 kms east of Mazar-i-Sharif over difficult terrain in the Hindu Kush.

The Afghan Red Crescent also responded to an earthquake on March 3, measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale which killed at least 70 people in Samangan province north-eastern Afghanistan. Two earthquakes in February and May 1998 left about 9,000 people dead in north-eastern Afghanistan.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