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CWS, PARTNERS ORGANIZE RESPONSE IN INDIA, PAKISTAN AFTER QUAKE

FOREIGN DESKS: Please share the following contact information with your correspondents in India/Pakistan:

CASA (Churches’ Auxiliary for Social Action): Rachna Building, 2 Rajendra Place, Pusa Road, New Delhi, 110 008, India; Telephone (91-11) 571-5498 or 5538; e-mail: casa@del6.vsnl.net.in or casa@ndf.vsnl.net.in

Marvin Parvez, Church World Service/Pakistan: 74 Garden Road, Saddar-Karachi 74400, Pakistan; Telephone (92-21) 721-5604; Fax (92-21) 722-6055; e-mail at Marvin@cyber.net.pk

NOTE: Funds for humanitarian response in India and Pakistan following the earthquake may be sent to:

Church World Service, Attn. India Earthquake
P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515
Phone Pledges/Credit Card Donations: 1-800-297-1516 x222
On-Line Contributions: www.churchworldservice.org

January 26, 2001, NEW YORK CITY – Drawing on their long experience in emergency response and development, the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) in India and Church World Service/Pakistan are mobilizing to provide shelter, food, drinking water and other relief items following this morning’s powerful earthquake in India’s western state of Gujarat, on the border with Pakistan.

The earthquake hit early today just as citizens of India were preparing to celebrate Republic Day, a day commemorating the country’s transition to an independent republic following British colonial rule.

Measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, the quake was the most serious to hit India in 50 years.   More than 1,000 people have been killed, and authorities fear the eventual toll could easily reach the thousands, Reuters reported.  

CASA is a long-standing and well-respected CWS partner.  Sam Selwine, who works with CASA in Bombay, said that while the Indian army had moved in already, CASA teams from Bombay could not yet access the affected area because of transportation problems.  Communication also is difficult, because phone lines have gone down.  CASA is working with local partners in the area, including the Protestant and Catholic churches and the YMCA.

The quake also affected neighboring Pakistan, where at least eight people were reported killed in the southern province of Sindh, Reuters reported.  The quake also was felt in Nepal and Madras.

Naeem Ghauri from CWS Pakistan said that CWS is working with its local partners in the field, including Lower Sindh Rural Development Association and CARITAS, to assess needs in Pakistan.

The response work has the support of the wider Action by Churches Together (ACT), a global alliance of some 200 Protestant and Orthodox churches and aid agencies.

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