Earthquakes occur from time to time in various parts of the world. An earthquake, like a flood or a famine, is a natural calamity. Men are helpless when such things happen. We often read in the newspapers that an earthquake has occurred in a certain place. We come to know that many people have lost their lives.
In some areas, nearly every home was destroyed and countless others were rendered unsafe. There was also significant damage to infrastructure including roads, health clinics and hospitals, schools and hundreds of miles of stone irrigation channels, affecting tens of thousands of acres of cropland.
During the harsh winter, more than 300,000 earthquake survivors left their homes for the relative warmth and safety of displacement camps at lower elevations.
The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake (also known as the South Asian earthquake or the Great Pakistan earthquake), was a major earthquake, of which the epicenter was the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The earthquake occurred at 08:50:38 Pakistan Standard Time (03:50:38 UTC) on 8 October 2005.
According to reports in Pakistan, strong tremors were felt in northern Pakistan, rocking buildings in the capital Islamabad. Reports of server damage to buildings and casualties to residence have been reported from Islamabad. A 19-story building collapsed in Islamabad.
Army has been called in and rescue operations have started in the disaster site.
Panicked people ran out of homes and offices in many cities in Pakistan. It registered a debatable 7.6 or 7.7 on the richer scale making it a major earthquake similar in intensity to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, 1935 Quetta earthquake, and the 2001 Gujarat earthquake.
As of 8 November, the Pakistani government’s official death toll was 73,276, while officials say nearly 1,400 people died in Jammu and Kashmir and fourteen people in Afghanistan.
A massive earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale rocked North India, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Oct 8, 2005 forcing people to rush out of their residences. Hundreds of people died in Jammu and Kashmir.
The quake which was recorded at 9.20 AM was felt in Delhi and adjoining areas in Uttar Pradesh and Haiyana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Earthquake rocked parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Pak occupied Kashmir. There are casualties in these places too. Reports states people came out of their homes, schools and offices due to panic.
Most of the affected people lived in mountainous regions with access impeded by landslides that blocked the roads, leaving an estimated 3.3 million homeless in Pakistan. The UN reported that 4 million people were directly affected, prior to the commencement of winter snowfall in the Himalayan region.
It is estimated that damages incurred are well over US$ 5 billion (300 billion Pakistani rupees). Five crossing points were opened on the Line of Control (Loc) between India and Pakistan to facilitate the flow of humanitarian and medical aid to the affected region, and international aid teams from around the world came to the region to assist in relief.