Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Eathquake hits south Asia

More traumatic than having it rain for the whole weekend
here in Maine was finding out that a 7.6 magnitude
earthquake hit on the Kashmir region on the border of
Pakistan and India, causing damage not only in Pakistan
and India, but also damage and tremors in Afghanistan,
Nepal, Bangledesh, and the Himalayas. The death tolls are
extreme. Aid from foreign countries around the world is
being sent to these areas, anything from blankets, food,
and medical supplies to helicopters filled with relief workers.
Here is a timing of the events of the earthquake.


_8:50 a.m.: Earthquake hits the divided Kashmir region on
the border of Pakistan and India.

_9 a.m.: Pakistan Red Crescent ambulances join local relief
efforts in Islamabad.

_7 p.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announces that the
United Nations has offered help to the governments of
Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

_10 p.m.: The United States contributes an initial $100,000 in
aid and dispatches 250 rolls of plastic sheeting, 5,000 blankets
and 5,000 water containers. The contribution later swells to $50
million and at least eight helicopters.


_Rescue crews arrive from Russia, Britain, the United Arab
Emirates and China with rescue dogs, earth-moving equipment,
medicine, food and other relief goods.


_6 a.m.: U.S. relief supplies arrive outside Islamabad.

_3 p.m.: First U.S. helicopters to help in relief efforts land
near Pakistani capital.

- Evening: The U.N. airlift of supplies starts arriving.


_11:15 a.m.: Regional capital Muzaffarabad gets first major influx
of aid, when about 10 trucks from Pakistani charities arrive.
Scuffles break out.

_9:30 p.m.: A Boeing 747 chartered by the World Food Program lands
in Islamabad and begins unloading enough high-energy bars to feed
250,000 people for five days

The aspect that I'm really wondering about is why it took only
eleven hours for the U.S. to decide what to offer for aid for
these victims, when it took five days before anything was done
here at home for the victims of Hurricanes' Katrina and Rita.
What's the difference between the two natural disasters?
It amazes me sometimes what the United States will do for
other countries when in need of aid, but when it's here in
our own country, it takes longer than it should. I have asked
those from the World Gathering of Young Friends to hold these
victims in the Light and in prayer. Some of those affected are
our own brothers and sisters from the gathering: those that we
talked to, those that we shared meals with, those that we
learned international dances with and from, those that we had
fun with.


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