On October 7, 2021, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 5.9, hit the District Harnai of Baluchistan province, leaving 17 people dead, 36 critically injured and 250 injured. The earthquake jolted the district Harnai and the sleeping residents at 3:01 am late night. It has turned hundreds to several thousand houses either into mud-debris or damaged partially with visible cracks or walls. Jolts were felt in all neighboring and even remote districts including the district Pishin, Kuchlak, Muslim Bagh, Killa Saifullah, Sibi, Loralai, & Ziarat of Baluchistan. 1
District Harnai has two Tehsils including Tehsil Shahrag & Tehsil Harnai having 11 UCs in total. The main spoken language is Pashto with 80% population while Balochi is 20%. According to the census of 2017, district Harnai has a total population of 97017 and 17353 HHs2. Out of 11 UCs, the three UCs including Saddar-1, Saddar-2 and Municipal Committee (MC) Harnai are severely affected, the six (6) UCs including Babihan-1, Babihan-2, Nakus-1, Nakus-2, Shahrag (Urban) and Shahrag (Rural) as moderately affected and the two UCs including Khost and Zarghoon Ghar are slightly affected. As per the latest updates of PDMA, 315 HHs are fully damaged and 5,662 HHs (31,707 approx.) are partially damaged in the three most affected UCs.
This is pertinent to highlight that since the earthquake occurred late night with tremendous devastations, while the people were sleeping and the people observed the sudden horrors, huge hue and cries; and dense dust which caused them traumatized. After the earthquake, the consecutive after-shocks has sustained the traumatic situation in affected areas; the risks of sudden fall of damaged HHs has forced the 100% population to stay under the open sky at night. At day time, the people have to stay either in courtyards or outside homes under shades.
The severity in weather (cold) and the risks of rains has necessitated the demand of Tents, blankets, mosquitos’ nets and the installation of latrines because open defecation is common practice in rural areas and the situation has turned the women especially, more vulnerable and unprotected.
Assessment of damages is in progress and the teams of district administration, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and Military forces (Army and FC) are smartly engaged. The data collection is almost complete but the compilation and key findings will be shared with relevant stakeholders including the Islamic Relief shortly.3
Islamic Relief has the privilege to be well coordinated with the administration at all levels because Islamic Relief has already been implementing a project named as Transformation and Adaptation against Climate Variability Affected Areas (TACVA) since July 2020 in district Harnai. As in emergency response, Islamic Relief has distributed the 300 water-proof familytents with Tarpaulin-sheets and six hundred (600) each of the high quality Quilts, cottonmatrices and plastic mats.