All day long yesterday, the phone lines of the information cell set up at the consulate were jammed as people kept on calling for information about their loved ones.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE Ihsanullah Khan said, "We have been contacted by Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs who has assured us of all the necessary support."
Khan also said that the a 37-member crisis management team from the UAE has been sent to Pakistan and a cargo plane loaded with relief material including tents, tinned food and medicines has already left for Pakistan. "The International Committee for Red Cross has also sent a team. Special counters have been set up at the consulate and 24-hour emergency passport renewals are also on."
The consulate has set up an information and a relief goods collection centre. The centre can be contacted on telephone numbers 02-4447800 and 04-3973600. Cash can be deposited in the President’s Relief Account Fund at the United Bank Limited A/c No. 010-3726-5. Goods can be handed over at the Pakistani school in Al Ain and the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Arab Pakistan School in Abu Dhabi where sub offices have been set up.
Meanwhile, the heads of the all-Pakistani associations in Dubai came together to appeal for contributions to the Earthquake Relief Fund. The Pakistan Association, Dubai's wings including the Professional Wing, the Ladies Wing and Chartered Accountants Wing, the Pakistan Business Council and Car Dealers Association DUCAMZ have together set up a relief camp at the association's premises and asked for donations in the form of cash or goods including tents, blankets, mattresses, shoes and tinned food items. Cash can be deposited at UBL A/c No. 01046229. "Relief has already started pouring in and we hope to reach a target of Rs100 million," they announced at a press conference.
The Pakistan Social Centre in Sharjah called an emergency meeting of the executive body and also decided to set up a relief fund collection point at the centre. Deposits can be made at UBL A/c No. 08010-29136. For details, contact telephone numbers are: 06-5626633 and 050-4855676.
Meanwhile, the World Memon Organisation (WMO) and the Memon community have announced a donation of Pak Rs10 million for relief works through it’s Pakistan Chapter. It also appealed to the community to come forward and contribute by depositing funds into the Union National Bank A/c No. 8501074382 and UBL A/c No. 0107200-3. Several other volunteers also stepped forward and appealed to the community to donate generously. "We have set up a relief camp near the Pakistani School in Sharjah. For details, we can be contacted at 050-6262842 and 050-6978665."
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be transporting the relief goods free of cost. "There has been no major rush for flight bookings. But we have still instructed our counters to give priority to people who want to rush to Pakistan in this time of crisis," said a PIA spokesperson.
UAE dispatches aid to quake-hit
ABU DHABI — The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ordered quick dispatch of emergency aid to the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the hilly regions of Pakistan, killing and maiming thousands.
President Khalifa ordered the UAE Red Crescent Society to dispatch emergency assistance to the affected areas in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to help alleviate the sufferings of the victims.
As per instructions of General Shaikh Mohamed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Minister of Defence, the Dubai Police Rescue and Hard Task teams left Dubai yesterday to provide aid to the victims of the massive earthquake on Saturday that claimed over 20,000 lives in Pakistan
Dr Jamal Mohamed Khalifa Al Mari, Deputy-Commander-in-Chief, addressed the rescue team on the importance of saving lives. He urged team members to offer immediate human assistance and to co-ordinate with the Directorate General of Dubai Police for necessary supplies.
He said the capabilities of Dubai Police in rescue and emergency operations have already been proved from its experience in the Bam City quake in Iran and in the aftermath of tsunamis that hit Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar and Malaysia.
According to Khalifa Nasir Al Suwaidi, RCS Board Chairman, the RCS had promptly begun implementing the UAE President's directives with the support of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the personal follow-up of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and RCS Chairman, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
He said the RCS had asked its office in Afghanistan also to go to the affected areas to assess the level of destruction and losses caused by the quake so that necessary assistance could be dispatched swiftly to the affected people.
A 32-member 'search and rescue mission' from Abu Dhabi Police also left for Islamabad from Abu Dhabi to take part in the relief efforts and procure relief from Pakistan.
India emergency numbers
DUBAI — The Indian Consulate in Dubai has, however, received no request so far for setting up a help line desk to reach out to the relatives and friends in the earthquake-affected areas in Jammu and Kashmir.
Yash Sinha, Indian Consul-General in Dubai, said the consulate has not received any emergency request from families trying to reach out to their near and dear ones in the earthquake-affected areas. Perhaps, the telephone lines to J&K are currently functional, he said.
"However, our emergency line established at the Consulate to extend assistance to Indian nationals at all times even after the official working hours of the Consulate is operational and people can reach the mission for any assistance any time of the day." The emergency line number at the Consulate is 050-7347676.In addition, Indians residing in the UAE can also contact special telephone lines set up in the Office of the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar for any enquiry on their relatives and friends affected due to the quake. The telephone numbers in Srinagar are: 0091194 2452257 and 0091194 2422353.
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