8th October: Hopes rekindled


Three years ago on the 8th of October,Azad Kashmir and the North

West frontier Province of Pakistan were shaken by an earthquake measuring 7.7  on Richter scale .The official death toll rounded off to 79,000 with thousands handicapped and many other homeless. Severe waves of panic and devastation were apparent throughout the district. The initial rescue work began right after the incident , although at this particular point the aftermath of the earthquake was still not clear. The first day went by dealing mainly with the ‘ Margalla Tower’ collapse. The next day brought with it a different larger picture unleashing the havoc of the quake. Media teams were specifically covering different areas and appeals for relief were aired frantically. The pain and suffering of the people were deeply felt through out the country generating a phenomenal wave of donations and aids.

While foreign aid continued to pour in millions of dollars and food supplies the nation stood in solidarity shoulder to shoulder. The media went head on with the coverage capturing every inch of effected areas. The coverage aided rescue and relief organization to address effected areas. In all this mayhem a nation stood against all odds. With every sign of life under the rubble the nation breathed relief. The greatest earthquake to hit Pakistan also became one of the exemplary incidents of rescue and relief not only by the authorities but by the ordinary man. Ever passing day brought with it hopes of efficient rescue and relief facilities. The month of Ramadan passed in prayers and hopes of survival of the victims.  Rescue work went on day in day out setting new standards of public generated relief and aid.

After three years of the incident many still remain homeless. Although the relief funds provided first aid facilities but due to lack of strategy long term plans were not chalked out. According to records:

The data released by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) reveals that about 462,900 families were supposed to get compensation in four instalments. The number of families receiving all the four instalments was 218,317 or about 47 per cent of the total. This means that more than 52 per cent affected families, or about 245,000 families, had not received compensation in full.

According to the data, of the total of 610,716 destroyed houses, including 101,091 partially destroyed, construction of 409,613 houses has been completed while another 118,406 houses were under construction. Construction of 35,972 houses is yet to start.

The rising infiltration adds up to the misery of the homeless survivors. While the country continues to fight insurgencies and economic backlashes the victims demand significant improvements. It was during the time of such chaos that the country came out as a nation united and unanimously concerned upon the welfare of their own people. While the media moved on to hawk on opportunities the victims seemed to be forgotten by many. However many organization continue to work in rebuilding infrastructure but without strategic backup this too seems short lived. The plea of the survivors ask for something more than just relief they ask of us revival of the same spirits that once kindled in our hearts. The holler from the victims ask of the same sincerity in handling issues from the media, Government , NGO’s and most importantly us. At least for today let us remember the survivors in whatever way we can . Most importantly let us revive the spirit that once set standards of  patriotism and Unity for the interest of ourselves and our people.

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5 thoughts on “8th October: Hopes rekindled

  1. Thank you odzer for paying your condolences. I so hope things get better. the 1935 quake was one of the worst to hit that region. Its terrible how people have to go through such horrors specially when the loss and pain can be minimized.Something really needs to be done.

  2. Once again, I am sorry for this mornings losses in your country. This was something that I had feared and expressed in my last comment here as well. I learnt from my mothers side grand mother once about the 1935 earthquake in that area that had killed 30,000 people. This highlights again the importance for better earthquake protection technology to be deployed in south asia across Pakistan, India and Nepal. Lets hope the death toll does not rise now.

  3. Thank u for ur condolences odzer 🙂 it really helps to hear concerns from the other side of the border. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂 , and I totally agree with you regarding negligence of the governments in issues such as these lack of proper warnings and evacuation lead to casualties.
    I hope that the victims are helped asap too. Btw thanks for sharing some interesting facts it really is enlightening to know about the massive power of natural hazrads. This indeed increases our concern and one certainly hope that significant attention is allotted to prevent damage in the future.

  4. Condolences for your loss. I remember this earthquake all so well because it shook me up here quite badly. I counted around 10 to 11 aftershocks here. The himalayas continue to be a very dangerous place and I am very surprised how lackadaisical the preparations are here for the next big one. At a magnitude 8 earthquake that may occur in this region things like furniture etc may actually fly and hit you. People are barely able to stand up. It is said that in the 1905 Kangra earthquake people who were sleeping outside in their verandah’s died because they could not even stand up. I think South Asian governments are completely ignoring earthquake safety when retrofitting buildings and imposing tough earthquake standards may not actually be even that expensive in the long term. I hope that in Pakistan and elsewhere lessons will be learnt.

    I am happy that you have posted something about this here because it is a topic that I am deeply concerned about. As for financial aid I hope the victims that remain will get expedited help.

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