(JNS.org) The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) on Monday responded swiftly to the latest earthquake to strike South Asia.
JDC said it has disbursed emergency grants two partners, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute and the International Blue Crescent, who will provide medical and emergency aid in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Additionally, experts from the JDC’s Disaster Relief and India teams are consulting with groups on the ground to assess the damage and humanitarian needs of survivors.
“As we anxiously await details on the tragic loss of life and extent of the damage in South Asia, we are drawing on our vast experience, network of partners, and standing presence in the region to deploy a speedy Jewish response that ensures relief to survivors at their time of need,” said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s CEO.
A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan on Monday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake’s epicenter was located about 28 miles southwest of the village of Jarm, which is near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The tremors were felt as far away as Islamabad and New Delhi.
According to early reports from the region, at least 180 people have died, including 146 deaths from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakktunkhwa province and 34 deaths in Afghanistan. This includes 12 Afghani schoolgirls between the ages of 10 and 15 who were killed in a stampede when they tried to escape their school, CNN reported.
Founded in 1914, JDC’s humanitarian work spans more than 70 countries. The organization has been quick to respond to natural disasters such as the 2004 South Asia tsunami or this past April’s earthquake in Nepal.