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Friday, October 07, 2005

earthquake rocks Islamabad

08:50 am, earthquake lasting more than a minute jolts us. We get out. Very severe jolts. Secondary jolt follows.

After awhile we get back in. Then I go out for a survey, and see a lot of people and dust. What happened, I ask people around in the street. Margalla Tower has collapsed, they say. Not quite true, I ascertain, but some damage must have occurred.

Anyway, bring the family out again. MiL needs a walker, so she is slow. Station her on a chair outside. Everyone in the street is out. Some go towards Margalla Towers. Fire Brigade, police sirens, then a helicopter.

See people hanging a rope made of bedsheets from the top floors of Margalla Towers. It is pulled up again, and after a while lowered again, probably enlenghthened. Not enoug, the exercise continues for long.

TV announces collape of a roof in a girls school in Rawalpindi. Then the cable goes out of commission.

Helicopters continue to circle overhead. Son goes out to work. I take the other car out, see a helicopter parked in the football field next to the road. Traffic ahead is choked. I turn back.

After a very long time, Fire Brigade in evidence, trying to get people out of the Towers.


____________________________

update:

I just went out.

There is a gaping hole between the blocks of Margalla Towers. Two of the blocks (ten stories each) have collapsed totally. Extent of loss of life not yet certain, but there is widespread loss throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Heavy removing machinery is being used at Margalla collapse to remove the debris.

Son has come back from work. The Blue Area (housing Islamabad's posh office blocks) have been totally evacuated.

Damage is far worse than it seemed at first.

1 Comment:

guile said...

nice, comfy place you got here :)..