Central Asia quake brings swift response

Publié: 25 juillet 2011 12:47 CET

By Joe Lowry

The 6.2 magnitude earthquake that jolted Central Asia last Wednesday gave the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan a chance to show how community-based disaster preparedness pays off. Although no casualties were reported (13 people died in neighbouring Uzbekistan, where the government is providing disaster response) dozens were injured and hundreds of buildings were damaged.

Kyrgyz Red Crescent staff and volunteers went into immediate action as part of the national Disaster Response Committee Unit. Alongside colleagues from the United Nations, goernment and NGOs Red Crescent representatives made rapid assessments and have been able to get urgent material and psychological support to the hundreds of people affected.

Stocks that had been replenished following last year's civil unrest were swiftly sent from the warehouse in Batkan for the second time in four weeks, having been pressed into service after recent floods.

Mattresses, quilts, pillows, hygiene sets and kitchen sets were provided for the worst-hit families in the village of Kan, where many houses were destroyed or heavily damaged. This augmented the government tents, with a capacity for over 1,000 people that were also deployed.

Local television broadcast an emotional tribute to the Red Crescent. Ms Kalbul Osmonova, head of Kan village administration said: "It is purely thanks to the Red Crescent, who have given us the knowledge of what to do, how to evacuate and where to gather in case of an earthquake, that it was possible to avoid deaths."

Share this