February 09, 2006

Earthquake response reflections / Reflexions sur la reponse au tremblement de terre

Il est ici 3h30 du matin... j'ai travaille une partie de la nuit. Pour les prochains jours nous travaillons a l'hotel, precaution d'usage car c'est fete musulmane et le directeur du bureau craint (a juste titre, je crois - j'ai eu ce commentaire de locaux aussi) des manifestations et de la violence. Pour l'instant, Islamabad est calme. Je ne prends pas de risques, mais je doute qu'il arrive quelque chose. Enfin, ca me permet de travailler a mon rythme, je ne me plains pas...

It is here 3:30 AM.... I have worked a part of the night. For the next few days, we are working out of the hotel, just a precaution because it's a muslim holiday and the Head of Office here is (rightly, I think, as locals are also keeping this discourse) worried that there maybe manifestations and violence. For now, Islamabad is quiet. I am not taking any risks, but I doubt anything will happen. Anyway, this allows me to work at my rythm, I am not complaining...

J'ai recu un courriel me contant qu'hier matin, aux informations de Radio Canada, le reporter canadien de R.C Akli Ait Abdallah, a fait un bref reportage sur le Cachemire pakistanais, et notamment la ville Muzaffarabad (MUZ pour les intimes)... C'est la que j'ai passe 2 jours la semaine derniere . Mon collegue et moi avons visite la ville. Il a pris beaucoup de photos de la destruction... et les a partagees avec moi.


I received an email telling me that yesterday morning, on CBC, the Canadian journalist Akli Ait Abdallah was commenting on Pakistani Kashmir, and particularly Muzaffarabad (MUZ). It's there that I spent 2 days last week. My colleague and I visited the city. He took lots of pictures of the destruction... and shared them with me.


MUZ-Earthquake-4Feb06, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

Mis a nu.... Exposed....


MUZ-Earthquake-4Feb06, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

Who is he? Is the owner of this icon still alive? Somehow, the picture is still intact...

Qui-est-ce? Son proprietaire est-il toujours vivant? Etonnant que cette photo soit toujours intacte...

MUZ-Earthquake-4Feb06, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.
Les habitants de cette maison l'ont abandonnee... ils ont peur qu'elle leur tombe dessus...
The owners of this house abandonned it... they were afraid it would fall on them...


MUZ-Earthquake-4Feb06, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

Incroyable que cet oranger soit reste intact et ai produit des fruits malgre la destruction...

Amazing that this tree remained intact and produced fruit despite all the destruction.

Akli Ait Abdallah se rappelait que les "humanitaires "ne pouvaient s'y rendre que par les moyens héliportés de l'armée pakistanaise, que dans cette zone, il y a eu 70 000 morts et plusieurs milliers de personnes sont encore sous les abris de fortune.......Que les interventions étaient maintenues sur le mode Urgence( abris, nourriture et soins), un an après le tremblement de terre.

Akli Ait Abdallah remembered that the "humanitarians" could not go to MUZ by other means then with the pakistani army's helicopters, that in this area, there 70 000 deaths and that several thousands of people are still living in makeshift shelters... That the interventions are still in emergency mode (shelters, food and healthcare) one year after the Earthquake.

J'ai constate tout cela. Mais les helicopteres sont pilotes par des Russes, et font partie de UNHAS (United Nations Humanitarian Air Service). J'ai pris cet helico pour aller a Mansehra et pour rentrer de Muzaffarabad.

I noticed all of that. But the choppers were piloted by Russians, et are part of UNHAS (United Nations Humanitarian Air Service). I took this chopper to go to Mansehra and to go back from Muzaffarabad.




UN Chopper, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

Sur la route de retour, on a pu constater la destruction totale du village de Palakot... J'ai reussi a capturer cette vue:

On the way back, we were able to notice the totale destruction of the village of Palakot... I managed to catch this on film:


DSCN02222006-02-04_03-48-36, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

L'ONG pour laquelle je travaille distribue des abris au Kashmir et dans le Nord du Pakistan. On determine qu'un abri peut etre habite par une famille de 10 personnes. Les gens ne mentiraient normalement pas a propos de leur famille. De toutes facons, nous avons des employes locaux qui font des verifications pour s'assurer que l'information obtenue est logique.

The NGO I work with is a major shelter supplier in AJK and NWFP (sorry, no name - gotta keep my head safe!) The way we operate is that we actually determine that a shelter can do for a family of 10. People usually would not lie about their family members. We have local staff checking the background info as well to make sure it makes sense.

Il y a encore plusieurs milliers de personnes sans abris. L'organisation pour laquelle je travaille a pour objectif de distribuer 10 000 kits de construction d'"abris". Un abri peut tenir jusqu'a 10 personnes. Nous distribuons tous les jours sur 3 sites, a + ou - 200 familles par jour. Les distributions vont encore durer 2 semaines. Donc si mon estimation est correcte, a peu pres 42 000 persones (je calcule 5 personnes par abri car il y a des plus petites familles) sont encore sans abri en ce moment.

There are still several thousands of people without shelter. The organization I work for is striving to distribution 10 000 shelter. A shelter can house up to 10 people. We are distributing every day on 3 sites, to more or less 200 families a day. So if my estimate is correct, about 42 000 people (calculation 5 people by shelter, since there also are smaller families) are still without shelter at the moment.


Parce qu'au coeur de l'urgence, les villages eloignes etaient les plus a risque (essentiellement parce que eloigne = haute altitude = froid = danger de mort), nous travaillons du haut vers le bas de la montagne dans nos zones de service.

Because in the midst of the emergency the mose remote villages were also the most at risk (mostly because remote = high altitude = cold = death) we've been working from the top down in the area which we serve.

Il y a bien sur des tables de concertation dans la zone AJK avec tous les acteurs concernes, et des rencontres hebdomadaires pour s'assurer qu'il n'y a pas de double travail dans les zones affectes.

I also know that there is major concertation efforts in the AJK area by all concerned actors and weekly meetings take place to ensure that no double-servicing happens.

Dans tout ca, les grands oublies sont les sans-abris de la ville (MUZ) qui sont completement ignores par les humanitaires au profit des villages recules, plus menaces par le froid que les citadins. A MUZ, les victimes du tremblement de terre sont encore dans des tentes ou des abris de fortune. Jusqu'a la semaine derniere, c'etait plutot froid la nuit a MUZ.

In fact, the saddest thing (as I see it) is that Muzaffarabad has had barely any assistance based on the above mentionned system. So people are still in tents in the urban area. Until last week, it was still pretty cold at night.



Earthquake victims in MUZ, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.

Toute cela est bien sur desolant.... All this is desolating.

Il y a beaucoup de defis dans le travail d'urgence au AJK. On ne devrait jamais oublier que gens qui sont sur le terrain travaillent des heures infernales et campent au bureau, loin de leurs familles, pour aider les victimes. (En tout cas, c'est ce que font nos gens.)

There are a lot of challenges in servicing the Earthquake relief. We should never forget that the people on the field are actually working around the clock and camping out in the office, away from their homes, to help others. (Anyway, that is what our field people do.)

If you have any curiosity about the Earthquake, check out Kathryn's post, the discussion there is quite interesting.

Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) est un pays de reve. Des montagnes a perte de vu et des paysages envoutants... comme celui-ci par exemple:

Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) is a dream place. Mountains up to the horizon and magical landscapes... like this one for example:


Kashmir at its best, taken by JASON, originally uploaded by The Travelling Beaver.



Bien sur, en bout de ligne, on a aussi eu le plaisir de voir Islamabad vue du ciel... C'est toujours impressionnant, une ville nichee au creux de montagnes...
On the way back, we also got to see Islamabad from the sky... It's always impressive, a city nestled between mountains...

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

Did you like these pictures? I put up over 150 pictures here. Vous aimez mes photos? J'en a plus de 150! Visionnez-les ici.

Enjoy - let me know what you like!

7 comments:

Beaver said...

Hey there! Those are great pictures. I noticed a couple comments on my blog from you and decided to come over and visit. I even noticed that my blog is a link on yours...that's fantastic. Thanks!

cheers
adrianna

--
Posted by Adrianna
to The Travelling Beaver at 2/09/2006 12:27:28 PM

Beaver said...

Sorry, Adrianna, I was working on my post and inadvertantly deleted your comment. :(

Thanks God for email!

Thanks for dropping by - glad you enjoyed the pics!

Kingston Girl said...

Wow. I've only been in small earthquakes and they scare me. But your photos are really good - give a good feel of how things are now when the rest of the world has 'forgotten' the area - try and stay cheerful!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Incredible stories and pictures. They're unsettling and awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing them with us. I hope and pray for your safety, and thank you again for enriching us with these posts.

Anjamon said...

Oh, those pictures are really tragic! Thanks for posting! They made me thing...

I hope we'll hear more from you soon!

Kiss, Kiss!
Your friend Anya!

Salt Water said...

Wow! Beav, You are so courageous. I was afraid, just when sending $50 to help over there. I found the site on a radio station's website and have no idea if the money really did any good. You however risk your pretty little neck in helicopters and go to the heart of the suffering. Wow! Wow! Wow! You are a hero. Thanks for the real life pictures of Pakistan. I like best the picture of a woman with a child, presumably her son. It shows her beauty, dignity and plight. The fruit stand was a nice touch in a collection that otherwise was rough to see. I am so proud to know you in Blogville. You inspire me to want to do more to help.
I'm sad to hear you will miss your much deserved get-together with the Charm Bucket, Mister Dave (please forgive my pretending like I know him, but I've come to respect people who can act on thier world views like you and know he must be a good guy). I just go crazy if I miss a Home Time Request. I will mention your site on my "Diary To Myself" blog. If I say something out of line for any reason, let me know and I'll 86 it.
Thanks Oh Great One for all you do to help this pain riddled world. PS. Dave has no chance to kill a rabbit telepathiclly. Good Luck my friend.

Beaver said...

K-Girl !
That's funky that you were in small earthquake - I guess it is weird to feel the earth shaking! I was actually feeling some tremors in ISB today and remembered that comment. It is weird to feel the Earth suddenly shaking. Sort of creates the feeling of loosing foot. But until walls crack around me, I feel safe...

Saur,
I'm glad you appreciate this post, it's not given to all be accept the sad, the tragic and the unfair. Thanks for staying open minded...

Anya, Darling,
I'm glad this post made you think, it's why I have this blog. Seeing the tough things in the world makes us better appreciate the sweet things in life... We all have to keep learning and thinking! Keep it up!

Salt Water, dear friend, I am so glad you stopped by despite your hectic schedule! I'll email you some contact to some trust-worthy agencies. And if you want to share with me the contact of the place where you sent money, I'll gladly do some snooping to tell you whether they're legit or not.
You are a kind heart. I would hate to see your trust betrayed.
Don't worry about the Missed Dave thing: we're working on it and will see each other, somehow, somewhere. There is nothing stopping us from getting together!

I love you all, thanks for reading on!