October 2005 News

Over 300 killed in Jammu and Kashmir; Uri town flattened

8 October 2005
The Hindu
Luv Puri

Jammu: Over 300 people were killed and more than 700 injured in Jammu and Kashmir in Saturday's earthquake. More than 2,000 houses were damaged, and thousands became shelter-less in minutes. All parts of the State were jolted but the border districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Poonch bore the brunt, due to their proximity to Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, where the epicentre of the quake lay. The entire Uri town, adjoining Muzaffarabad district of PoK was flattened. Officials of the 15 Corps told The Hindu that more than 120 persons were killed and over 300 injured in the Uri sector of Baramulla district. In the same sector, 20 Army personnel were killed and 37 injured. Authorities in Baramulla district told The Hindu that more than 90 per cent of the houses in 54 villages were completely destroyed. Many people were feared buried under the rubble. Baramulla town also suffered damage. Two persons were killed and 80 others injured there. In the Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district, another forward area north of Baramulla district, 20 persons were killed and more than 100 others injured. In Poonch district, 10 persons were killed. The famous Moti Mahal building in the heart of the town, housing soldiers of the Poonch brigade, was completely destroyed. The soldiers were evacuated and taken to the military hospital. Official sources said the bodies of 197 civilians and 36 Army personnel were recovered all over the State. The number of injured stood at 650, including 82 Army personnel. The full impact of the quake could not be known as roads to many of the affected villages remained inaccessible due to landslips. No contact could be established with many villages and people protested against the poor response of the administration. As the roads were blocked, relief was sent by air to Uri and Tangdhar. However, the Baramulla-Uri and the Kupwara-Tangdhar roads were opened in the evening. The Government cancelled the leave of absence sanctioned for all medical and para-medical staff. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed visited the affected areas. The Government said those who lost their houses would be accommodated in school buildings.


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