40,000 Feared Dead In Parts Of AJK
9 October 2005
The Pakistan Tribune
Muzaffarabad: About 40,000 deaths are feared in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, which hit severely parts of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir on Saturday. It is feared that a vast majority of Azad Kashmir have either died or left for their rural damaged homes, causing all relief work to a standstill. The area is plunged into chaos and anarchy. A Kashmiri Irshad Hashmi informed Sunday that Muzaffarabad has been virtually destroyed, and every house is mourning its dead and injured. He noted that people are living under open sky, in face of cold and wet weather that persists. All the dead bodies alongside the injured are lying in the open as well. He lamented that no help has so far arrived from any quarters and neither has the government contacted them. He also informed that some American and Afghan helicopters did bring some relief goods but that was insufficient. He demanded that Pakistani government should set up relief operations in the area. He has appealed to the government of Pakistan not to abandon Kashmiri brethren in this critical hour. Quake death toll reaches 450 in IHK In occupied Kashmir, death toll in yesterday's massive earthquake has gone up to four hundred and fifty and is likely to further rise, as reports pouring in from different parts, speak of heavy loss of life in far flung areas. According to Kashmir Media Service, Baramulla and Kupwara districts have been worst affected. There were pathetic scenes all around the Uri town and its adjoining areas as almost every house there has been damaged due to the quake. One hundred and forty-two people died in Baramulla, 51 in Kupwara and 18 persons in Jammu. Estimates of damages to houses and other structures in different areas were, Kupwara 50%; Trehgam 47%; Handwara 47%; Nowgam 90%; Tangdhar 90%; Lolab valley 40%; Ramhal 60%. At least forty-one Indian troops were killed and scores of others injured as the massive earthquake damaged bunkers and barracks along the Line of Control in Baramula, Kupwara and Poonch districts. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, accompanied by APHC leaders, Advocate Muhammad Ashraf Lone and Shahid-ul-Islam, visited today the earthquake affected areas of Uri and distributed relief goods, including tents and blankets, among the affectees. He expressed sympathy with the affectees and appealed Kashmiris to come forward in a big way for relief of the quake affected people. The Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, also visited Uri and handed over relief goods to the affectees. The President of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, visited Uri, and some other affected areas of Baramulla, for on the spot assessment of losses suffered by the people. He gave a call to Kashmiris to extend all out relief and rehabilitation assistance to the quake affected Kashmiris. KMS Meanwhile, In occupied Kashmir, at least forty-one Indian troops, were killed and scores of others injured as the massive earthquake damaged bunkers and barracks along the Line of Control in Baramula, Kupwara and Poonch districts. According to Kashmir Media Service, army bunkers and barracks were caved in, at Rampur, Uri, Tangdhar and Gulmarg areas in Baramulla and Kupwara districts. One army soldier died in Poonch district. 1,000 houses damaged including Poonch fort The devastating earthquake took a heavy toll of property in occupied Kashmir, damaging over 1,000 houses, besides the 155-year-old Poonch Fort, reports Kashmir Media Service. The tremors razed to the ground a wall of the Poonch Fort, which was built by Raja Abdul Razaq Khan in 1713 A.D. Independent Movement of IHK in Britain expressed grief over the tragic loss Birmingham: The Independent Movement of Kashmir in Britain has expressed their sympathy with the bereaved families of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Occupied Kashmir over the loss of thousands of people and property in the deadly earthquake hitting these areas on Saturday. The President of the movement Mohammad Ghalib in a emergency meeting said that the telecommunication system has been badly damaged due to the earthquake which has made difficult for the people living abroad to contact their relatives in Pakistan. He further said that the government should take steps on emergency basis for the restoration of telecommunications system as well as bridges and roads to make possible to provide relief to the affectees. The government should take all the necessary steps to safe the people who strayed in the areas in the miserable conditions, Ghalib stated. He said that people of Occupied Kashmir already sufferings under the Indian atrocities, facing a critical time of their life. India already has banned the entry of all the International Relief Agencies to Occupied Kashmir.