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The Harsh Memories of October 8th Earthquake

On a bright, cold and calm morning of October 8th, people were busy in their routine work. Families were saying good bye to their children off to school, to their loved ones off to work. At 8:50am devastating earthquake came with magnitude of 7.6 originating from Muzaffarabad and affected that entire mountain line as well as Indian occupied Kashmir.

Due to lack of media coverage to these areas the initial three to 5 hours media reporting was only about margla towers crash in Islamabad. Every channel was focusing on that when the US & international media has indicated a horror scene happened on mountain ends where earth quake was centered. Then Pakistanis came to know the devastation happened to those areas which include Muzaffarabad, Bagh and KPK areas.

The estimated death toll was around 1 million with several million injured or dubbed under the damaged houses or school structures. It left 4 million people homeless. As it happened during winter so cold weather added to the problem.

Homes, hospitals, schools, markets and everything else destroyed either completely or partially. Specially hospitals that led to more deaths because there was no where to give the injured ones treatment. 2nd thing was that these were mountain areas with small villages far from each other and on high altitude makes it really hard to provide rescue services over such large area.

The rescue attempts were started by the Government & Pakistan Army with huge support of common people and organization. The real unity among people of Pakistan was evident in this period. With everyone contributing to help the earthquake affected people. This was not enough as the destruction was huge so Government ask for international support.

The international community responded well both with donation and rescue activities with many countries sent their teams to these areas. A new department was found called ERRA (Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority) whose job was to carry out rehabilitation efforts.

Unfortunately the donation did not went through well because there was so much money that if used properly the all affected areas can be completely rebuild several times. There came lots of new designs to cope with any future earthquake. Many countries formed the hospitals,schools and shelter homes that are still there.

The mass number of people are still waiting to have their homes completely rebuild after long eleven years. Everything can be rebuild but memories can not be forgotten and whenever October comes everyone refreshes those memories.

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