» Monday, October 10, 2005

South East Asian Earthquake

The PMOS told journalists that the Prime Minister had spoken to President Musharraf of Pakistan yesterday evening to offer his condolences and to offer further help. We had responded so far by committing around £1 million of assistance in one way or another. The first search and rescue team had left on Saturday and had already been involved in rescuing people trapped in a tower block in Islamabad. A second search and rescue team had reached the main earthquake zone in Pakistan controlled Kashmir. So far a UK chartered aircraft had taken the following: 75 people and 5 dogs in the UK search and rescue teams; a rapid response team of Foreign & Commonwealth Office consular staff to support UK nationals and dual nationals; 4 Department of International Development advisers; and 9 tonnes of relief supplies including blankets and so on. We had also said that we would pay for the transport of relief goods provided by British NGOs as we had done during the Tsunami relief effort.

Asked if we were providing British helicopters as part of our aid package, the PMOS said that he understood that the United States had offered 9 helicopters, NATO was also looking at what it could offer, but as he understood it there was a limit on the capacity of how many helicopters Pakistan could deal with. What they had been offered at present met that capacity. However we would keep everything under review.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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