In the latest Ziarat earthquake, the stories of survival are interwoven with stories of great suffering, and probably none more so than that of the children now thrown out into the cold. The earthquake's having happened at the beginning of winter, in end-October, can be seen as fortunate in that it did not occur later in the season, but is unfortunate because the displaced homeless face the entire cold season outside. It also so happened that the earthquake occurred in an area known for its exceptional cold. A UNICEF report has counted 30,000 children among the 70,000 people it estimates as being rendered homeless, and mentions the most urgent needs of the survivors as being shelter, safe drinking water, food, warm clothing and emergency medical assistance. Already, children have had to be treated for pneumonia, abdominal diseases, diarrhoea and chest problems, which are all communicable diseases. Tents, blankets, clothes, medicine and antibiotics are still in short supply. Another reason why not only children in particular, but the population generally, is at risk, is because the hospitals in the area have also been hit by the quake. Even though some patients have been rushed to Quetta, doctors complain of a shortage of antibiotics, and orthopaedic equipment even there, let alone in the quake-affected areas. The government's National Disaster Management Authority did not seem prepared for any natural disaster, also to represent a medical disaster, and is an epidemic waiting to happen, especially when an epidemic is usually waiting to occur anyway.  The Authority should not only be prepared to provide relief to the physical infrastructure, but also should be prepared to tackle the medical aspect by making sure that an adequate supply of medicines is available readily. But that is for the future. Immediately, the government must not only assure a supply of medicines and medical equipment, and it must also keep in mind the inclement weather while assessing the stricken province's medical needs.