Tag «Edward»

Winter in Pakistani quake zone late but harsh UN refugee agency says

Winter in northern Pakistan has come late but with a vengeance, unleashing three days of rain and snow this week that is adding to the misery of survivors of the 8 October earthquake, grounding relief flights and causing landslides that cut off road access to many affected areas, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today. In camps for people left homeless by the quake, the storm caused some tents to collapse while a number of areas were flooded by the relentless rain, according to UNHCR, which is responsible for managing sites housing more than 137,000 people. Teams from the agency distributed additional emergency supplies of tents and plastic sheets to camp dwellers affected by the storm and are working to improve drainage around tents through trenching. The severe cold wave has plunged night-time temperatures below zero, with minus 13 degrees in the highest villages. Next week is expected to bring more rain and snow to the quake zone.Despite the bad weather, however, UNHCR reports no mass movements from the mountains and upper valleys down to camps at lower elevations. The agency surmises that this is because earthquake survivors have received enough supplies of food, shelter and blankets to stay where they are, or because the roads are blocked by landslides. In any case, UNHCR has made arrangements to receive 50,000 more people in the camps if necessary. read more