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FOCUS Pakistan assists in evacuating victims affected by collapse of Karachi’s Lyari Building


The FOCUS Search and Rescue Team is equipped with and trained for light-to-medium search and rescue operations. Photo: FOCUSThe FOCUS Search and Rescue Team is equipped with and trained for light-to-medium search and rescue operations. Photo: FOCUS Karachi, Pakistan, 9 August 2011 - Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) Pakistan, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, has mobilised members of its Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART), to assess the damage resulting from the collapse of the Lyari Building and identify rescue and relief needs. Based on the DART’s recommendations, FOCUS Pakistan immediately deployed a team of 15 volunteer rescuers, who are trained and equipped for urban search and rescue operations. In the initial hours of the incident, 15 injured individuals were rescued. To date, 34 bodies have been excavated from the rubble, while more than 16 people are still feared trapped under the debris.

The five-storey Lyari building, collapsed on the morning of 4th August 2011 in Moosa Lane locality of Baghdadi area, Lyari Town in Karachi, trapping more than 50 people under the rubble.

FOCUS Pakistan’s Search and Rescue Team (SART), trained by Rescue and Preparedness in Disasters, the UK representative of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group and IntOps AB, a Swedish consultancy company in crisis management and humanitarian operations, has been working jointly with the Urban Search and Rescue team of the National Disaster Management Authority, since the collapse of the building, using the latest search and rescue equipment to reach the victims.

Commending the efforts of FOCUS, Brigadier Anus Asad of the Army Engineer Corp said that “FOCUS Pakistan’s team has been extremely supportive in the rescue operations”. The SART was also supported by members of the Kharadar area Community Emergency Response Team, established by FOCUS Pakistan as part of its community based disaster risk management programme.

As part of its mandate to help communities build resilience to disasters, FOCUS has developed a professional search and rescue team consisting of 40 members during its 13 years of presence in Pakistan, and has trained over 34,000 local community members in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Muzaffargarh, Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan to effectively respond to disasters such as the devastating Monsoon floods (2010), Attabad landslide (2010) and the South Asian earthquake (2005).

For further information please contact:
Nusrat Nasab
Executive Officer
Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
Telephone: (+92-51) 111-253-254
Fax: (+92-51) 2072551
E-mail: nusrat.nasab@focushumanitarian.org

Salimah Shiraj
Communications Coordinator
Aga Khan Development Network
Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone: (+92 21) 35861242
Fax: (+92 21) 35861272
Email: salimah.shiraj@akcpk.org

Notes:
Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) - FOCUS is a crisis response and disaster risk management agency established in Europe, North America and South and Central Asia. It helps vulnerable communities build resilience to natural and man-made disasters and compliments the provision of humanitarian relief principally in the developing world. FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world. For further information please visit www.akdn.org/focus

Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) - The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of non-denominational development agencies, created by His Highness the Aga Khan, with complementary mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities. As a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam through institutional action, the AKDN agencies work to improve living conditions and opportunities for the poor, without regard to their faith, origin or gender. Working in the fields of economic, cultural and social development, AKDN aims to provide choices and opportunities to communities so that they can realise and determine their own development. For further information please visit www.akdn.org

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