Earthquake relief in Pakistan
Just before the onset of the harsh Himalayan winter, a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan on Oct. 8, 2005, killing an estimated 80,000 people. Located in the Kashmir region of Pakistan, the earthquake destroyed villages, caused landslides, blocked roads, and collapsed schools, hospitals, homes and other buildings.
Another 100,000 people were injured and over 3.5 million lost their homes. In Muzzafarabad, the capital of Kashmir, 70 percent of the houses were destroyed. In the Bagh District, 90 percent of the houses were destroyed and all of the school buildings collapsed. Most of the dead and injured were school-age children, trapped in school buildings when the quake hit.
On Oct. 11, in response to a request from Pakistan, NATO launched an operation to assist in the urgent relief effort. The Pakistani Government asked NATO for assistance not just for those injured during the earthquake, but also to prevent a second wave of fatalities due to the lack of food, proper medical care and shelter.
NATO's Disaster Relief Operation was a direct and tailored response to the request of the Pakistani Government and was focused on providing assistance as quickly as possible. The Alliance airlifted close to 3,500 tons of supplies and deployed engineers, medical units and specialist equipment to assist in relief operations. This was one of NATO's largest humanitarian relief operations, which came to an end on Feb. 1, 2006.