QUETTA, Pakistan — Southern Baptists are assessing relief needs in the aftermath of a strong pre-dawn earthquake in southwestern Pakistan on Oct. 29.
Thousands of homes were destroyed or buried by landslides that also have blocked roads, according to news reports out of the region. The earliest reports listed at least 150 people killed. Pakistan's government is using helicopters to ferry troops and medical teams into the quake zone.
Many survivors will be faced with near-freezing nighttime temperatures. Government officials reported they were distributing tents, blankets and food into the quake zone. A Southern Baptist assessment team will work to identify which needs they can help with and look for communities not being adequately reached by relief efforts.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting to hear from our field partners on the ground," said Jim Brown, director of the U.S. office for Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization. "We ask all Southern Baptists to pray that God would preserve life and speed rescue efforts. Pray that God would work in this crisis to help people understand how much He loves them and wants them to experience lives filled with hope and purpose."
The Oct. 29 quake was not as destructive as the massive 7.6 quake that devastated northern Pakistan in 2005, killing 80,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.