Just to Recap

There are still areas that the relief teams have not been able to reach. It has been more than four days now and the hopes of finding anyone alive in those areas is declining with every passing hour. There are schoolchildren still trapped under the rubble in most of the affected villages, and people are trying to dig them out with bare hands for lack of proper equipment.

Some villages are completely wiped out…while a few structures still stand in others. They were showing an aerial footage of the the worst hit areas, and we were able to make out only ONE little building still standing…all the rest was a pile of rubble and debris. No people in sight. That image won’t get out of my head. Dead bodies are lying strewn on the roads, and in the relatively plain areas such as graveyards where people ran to save themselves.

After three days of waiting, the victims in those areas have now lost patience and have started looting the supplies before they get to a distribution point, but the situation is not that dire yet. People here are exhibiting immense spirit. I never expected such an outpouring of love. All around the city, all you see, any hour of the day, is people piling up supplies in their cars and taking them to army camps or private charities, to be delivered to the victims. Individuals and groups are arranging trucks to carry the supplies and many people are going themselves to see that they get delivered. This is all everyone is thinking about. This is Ramazan, the pious month, the month of fasting, of love and charity, and somehow it has made this whole experience unbearable and inspiring at the same time. The images of those still trapped under the rubble are torturous – but to see this goodness gushing out of the people fills one with something solid and positive inside.

What is frustrating is that because of bad weather conditions (it started raining the very first night and there are constant hailstorms), the relief efforts are getting hampered and supplies are not getting to the affected areas fast enough. It is getting chilly there, and without shelter, food and medical supplies, even the survivors of the quake are now at threat. We are facing logistical problems as we don’t have enough choppers and aircraft to carry the supplies to the remote regions where the roads are still blocked from heavy landslides after the earthquake.

We are all trying to give as much as we can, in whatever form we can, and hoping it gets there in time.

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