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Kyrgyzstan: Deadly Quake Rocks Region

Kyrgyzstan: UN Rushes In Help After Deadly Quake Rocks Region

New York, Oct 6 2008 4:10PM

United Nations humanitarian agencies are dispatching aid and staff to southern Kyrgyzstan, where dozens of people have been killed and hundreds of homes destroyed after an earthquake struck the remote, mountainous region last night.

At least 60 people died when the quake, which measured 6.6 on the Richter scale and was recorded as being about 27 kilometres below the surface, struck close to Nura, a village near the Kyrgyz border with China.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists today that preliminary data indicates another 60 people in Nura need urgent evacuation and medical aid, and about 70 per cent of the village’s entire infrastructure has been destroyed.

A tent camp for 600 displaced families has been set up, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will send about 400 mattresses and 1,500 blankets from its warehouse in the town of Osh – which is about 220 kilometres from the epicentre – to the disaster area tomorrow.

Neal Walker, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central Asian country, reported that UN agencies already in Kyrgyzstan and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have dispatched teams to the south to conduct a needs assessment.

The disaster area is both high-altitude and sparsely populated, Ms. Montas said, and includes the Chon-Alai and Alai Rayon regions.


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