Islamabad’s Diary: More on the situation in hand

President Musharraf has appealed to the international community for help. The response has been pretty good as many countries has responded to call including India. According to President Musharraf, Gov requires more cargo helicopters for the aid work in remote areas across NWFP and Kashmir. He also called the disaster ‘Test of the Nation’. It’s time we join hands for a nobler cause. Another thing; the reason media keep telecasting catastrophic incident in Islamabad is just because nobody has been able to go remote areas where the real damage has been done, due to thunderstorm, heavy rains and land-slides.

According to lastest sources including Gov, the current death toll is 18,000 and an additional 40,000 people injured. The figures never tell the story, a cry does. I don’t have a camera here as I left Lahore in a jiffy, but I would try to provide you some pictures later on. Mansehra, Abbottabad and Butgram areas one of badly hit areas, and agencies are expecting to face a crowd of 30 thousand homeless families. Not people, families.

More aftershocks during the last 24 hours in Islamabad, Peshawar and Mansehra. I personally experienced many shocks last night and this afternoon, one when I was writing my previous post. It’s terrifying the way earth shakes and everybody gets desperate to jump out of window.

Gov has also announced three days mourning for the biggest earthquake in Pakistan’s history. Schools will be closed in Islamabad on Monday. I’m not informed if it’s safe to start school on Tuesday and what is the situation in surrounding areas and cities. Rawalpindi also got its share of disaster with building collapsing in older areas like Gawalmandi.

I would be leaving Islamabad for either Lahore or Peshawar in the next few hours. If I actually go Peshawar, I’ll try to keep things updated about the north-western areas. Keep praying for everyone.

PS: I quoted the wrong amount earlier for the Gov’s relief fund. Government of Pakistan has provided one hundred million rupees. With increasing death toll, Gov has also increased fund to 5 hunderd million rupees itself, which roughtly makes up more than one and half million dollars.

Tags: Earthquake, Pakistan

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