Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Red Crescent is the first responder to earthquake in Kyrgyzstan

The Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan distributes blankets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits to affected families in Ozgon district. Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan.

By Azamat Sabirov, Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan

Gulbaira Askarova, a 44-year-old mother of four children, lost her husband five years ago. Now, she has lost her home to the magnitude 6.7 earthquake which struck the Osh province of Kyrgyzstan at 11.30pm on 17 November.

Askarova, from Kakyr village of Ozgon district, is one of 4,000 families affected. "When the earthquake struck, I grabbed my children and ran out of the shaking house," she says. "I remember thinking that I don’t want my children to become complete orphans."

The epicenter of the earthquake was  in the Alai district, but damage was spread across Kara-Suu, Ozgon, Kara-Kulja, Aravan, Chong-Alay districts and Alai itself. Kyrgyzstan, isprone to earthquakes due to its mountainous terrain. Last week’s earthquake has reportedly damaged at least 4,000 houses and over 100 other buildings including community centres and health clinics.

First Responders

The Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan has been one of the first responders following the quake. National Disaster Response Team members were deployed in the aftermath of the disaster conducting rapid needs assessments together with the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Red Crescent volunteers are distributing relief including as blankets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits, reaching around 333 earthquake-affected families in Alai, Kara-Suu and Ozgon districts.

“Our priority is to assist the most-affected and the most-vulnerable, such as Gulbaira,” says Svetlana Shermatova, Osh Branch Director. “We are working closely with local administrations, the government, and communities themselves, and will continue joining our efforts with other partners in addressing the priority needs of the affected families.”

The Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan has received support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of 128,359 Swiss francs to assist 300 families with relief distributions and cash grants.
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