The Tragedy that Struck Pakistan on 8th October: Some Personal Recollections

It was 8.50 am, 8th October 2005, when my husband and I were playing comfortably with my 2-3 years old daughter, who was awake. I had to go to the office a little late. Suddenly I heard the news about a powerful earthquake with a magnitude Mw = 7.6 e which struck the Himalayan region of northern Pakistan and Kashmir.

It was centred near the city of Muzaffarabad and also affected Balakot city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some areas of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. In Kashmir, the three main districts were badly affected and Muzaffarabad, the state capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, was hardest hit in terms of casualties and destruction. Hospitals, schools, and rescue services including police and armed forces were paralysed. Infrastructure and communication were badly destroyed. More than 70% of all casualties were estimated to have occurred in Muzaffarabad. Bagh, the second-most-affected district, accounted for 15% of the total casualties. It is considered the deadliest earthquake to hit South Asia since the 1935 Quetta earthquake.

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Happy Teachers Day

I was studying in 4th grade in Islamabad Model School. Final exams were just around the corner. Our class teacher Ms Mahpara, who used to teach us Maths and English, went on leave. There were some chapters, which were yet to be taught by her, but her sudden absence panicked the whole class.

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