Pakistan - Nightmare at AJK University

Category: Asia, Life & Society Values: Education Views: 12360
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Multan: "The screams of my class fellows are still echoing in my mind. Their blood-littered faces don't let me sleep in the night. They are calling for help, desperately trying to hold on to life, but to no avail, as no body can recover them from the  massive blocks of campus debris. They all die, leaving me alone with killing memories that might continue to haunt me for rest of my life." 

This is how, Azam Ali Alvi, a survivor of one of the most disastrous earthquake in the history of this area, told his story. Azam is a student of third semester in 4-year B.S. Applied Geology program in Geology Department of University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad.

Mr. Alvi, his class fellow Babar Siddique and a hostel warden survived 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Muzaffarabad on Saturday and reached Multan in the wee hours of Monday, October 10, 2005.

While recounting the ordeal, he feared that over 800 students and teachers in the old campus of the university were crushed to death under the debris. Even 24 hours after the quake no rescue team could reach the campus. "The killer-quake hit Muzaffarabad at about 8:50 a.m. on Saturday while no rescue team had reached the spot till 9:00 am on Sunday and most of the students and teachers would have died by then," he feared.

Recalling the time when the earthquake smashed Muzaffarabad area, he said that the earth suddenly shook and walls were violently jolted. "I was tying my shoe laces in my hostel room, preparing to go for my class starting at 9:30 a.m. in the old campus, but suddenly everything started to twist and turn fiercely. I tried to stand on my feet but fell down." he described the scene and added, "Babar Siddiuq, my roommate, who belonged from Mansehra, screamed that it is earthquake and we must rush out of our room."

Azam Alvi said that he ran out and fell on the ground four or five times during his struggle to reach the road passing by his hostel. He said that he saw all of the buildings outside the hostel had collapsed. "Crying loudly, women children and older people, followed by an enormous windstorm were running ahead of us," he said and maintained that the earthquake shattered a nearby mountain into many pieces, which generated the windstorm.

He said that the earthquake continued for at least eight minutes with two intervals. "The first and most disastrous tremor of the quake kept thrashing the earth for about six minutes followed by another shorter stretch of two minutes," he recalled that all those buildings, which survived the first attack of the deadly quake fell prey to the second tremor and met with the earth.

He said that a mountain, dislocated due to earthquake, also blocked the flow of Neelum River and spread the panic of a flood. However, the water itself made its way and did not come out of banks.

He apprised that all buildings of new campus were newly built and they remained intact during the quake. However, the entire old campus collapsed and the teachers, students and other staffers were stuck under the rubble. "When we reached the old campus, it looked the scene of a war-ravaged area. Entire departments and the two-story girls hostel were destroyed and boys, girls and teachers were trapped under the ruins, some of them screaming for help," he said.

Sighing sorrowfully he said that a computer lab of BSCS caught fire at the time of quake and as a result over 50 girls were burnt to death. "Some girls of the Botany Department kept yelling for help till 9:00 pm, but in vain. They got silent after 12 hours of ordeal- probably dead-but we could not do anything for them as they were stuck under heavy blocks of building material and we could not pull them out," he could hardly narrate the sad moment while sobbing.

He said that the students carried out rescue operations and saved the lives of two teachers and two students from the rubble. They also recovered about 50 dead bodies of their fellow students. He feared that at least 800 students and teachers were killed in the university.

Torrential rain brought more misery for the quake-hit people as the survivors were under open sky while those stuck under the debris were drowning in chilling water. Alvi said that the residents of nearby areas also gathered in the ground of old campus and kept under the open sky, heavy rain and bone-chilling air for the whole night.

He said that almost all the roads of Muzaffarabad were either shattered or blocked due to land slides while power supply and telecommunication systems were also suspended. "We came out of campus for Garhi Habib Ullah and reached there on foot after traveling five hours. A huge caravan of men, women and children was on way with us, all of them weeping, sobbing and wailing," he apprised this correspondent. He said that all villages and buildings between Muzaffarabad and Garhi Habib Ullah were completely destroyed and the poor people were lying helpless.

Referring to his university, he lamented that the entire university buildings along with faculty and students were erased by the disastrous earthquake. He hoped that the university might be re-established soon.

Source: The Nation


IslamiCity through it's parent organization HADI (Human Assistance & Development International) is mobilizing its existing partners and resources to respond to the crises. The initial needs appear to be tents, blankets, medical kits, food aid, water and trauma counseling for those affected.

Please support HADI's emergency fund please click on the link below.


  Category: Asia, Life & Society  Values: Education
Views: 12360

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Older Comments:
KHADIJAH MUSLIM FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
It has been almost two months since again another earth upheaval with disastrous consequences. Of course the media does not give air or page space for the already forgotten calamity. I wonder why when there is a calamitous situation the first thing that is called upon is money. Can money do more than a compassionate humanity. When these distressing ocurrences happen it is true that money will supply much needed hardware such as bulldozers and other implements of search. But even without the mechanics couldn't money be collectively pooled to airlift as many able bodied men and women to the area to use brute strength and combined effort to save lives and act in a steady pulse of live energy to work for the lives of others. All too frequently we leave the true task of rescue to implements without sinew or soul. No wonder so many perish. We are apathetic to death and so therefore we are apathetic to the true essence of life and a living community. I imagine the consequences of our negligence to each other will continue to manifest itself in these type of upheavels while we continue to remain oblivious to what may be the true and only purpose of an abstract call to true life. Allah Akbar, Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim
2005-11-29

ALIAKBAR ABDUL GAFFOOR FROM SWITZERLAND said:
As i read these stories and followed the BBC which inturn make their best effort to bring the sad stories and live event from pakistan, I write this comment with tears. Pres. Musharaf is trying his level best to bring the aide to the remote untouched areas. No body expected this as the tsunami hit for Srilanka, but goverments have to rethink their spending on defence and divert a portion of this to develop rural areas which are more vulnarable to this kind of disasters.

May allh bless the victims and grant the JANNATHUL FIRDOUS. amin
2005-10-24

N FROM SINGAPORE said:
Being a half Pakistani myself who is born in Singapore, i really wanted to visit the land my grandparents were from...I have lost a couple of families there who i have been wanting to meet for a long time...May Allah Bless them and all the victims...May Allah also give the survivors the strength to push their way through...Amin
2005-10-22

N FROM SINGAPORE said:
Being a half Pakistani myself who is born in Singapore, i really wanted to visit the land my grandparents were from...I have lost a couple of families there who i have been wanting to meet for a long time...May Allah Bless them and all the victims...May Allah also give the survivors the strength to push their way through...Amin
2005-10-22

MUSOKE MUSA FROM UGANDA said:
``inna-lillahi waina illaihi raji-uun'',
it`s all sorrowful an sad news about the death of our dear brothers more so fellow universitymates,i`ve read the article and got filled with grief,my heart so much touched,and my eyes got filled with tears,however little can we change if allah`s will comes to pass.for every sad moment,dissastrous situations,and other moments of bad experience come for a porpose in one`s life and are the most poignant of all.
As the brother i read about in the article could`nt stand the the memory of the fellow brothers that had died in this disaster,he could in addition to other insightful members in islam use it as a lesson.imagine university students and other proffessionalS in the country being deversitated in buildings!!
to me this therefore means that life means more than being a university student,to understanding the sole aim of one`s creation!
its at this moment that i call upon all the pious individual to always utilise today for doing what is right as tommorow may be too late!!

musa musoke,makerere university (kla)
2005-10-20

SAYED ABDUL HAQUE SHAH FROM PAKISTAN said:
The disater has dvasteted almost major cities and smaller villages. The government machinery and agencies were not able to assume / imagine the extent of shock. Still there are many areas where no body reach to help affecttees. The clod wave and rains have added more miseries in the lives of peoples of disatrious areas. The evil persons are also in action and they are harming the local people. The aid which is arived in the areas, is un-cordinated and a good amount of aid is being distructed. The poletics of favour are also at high and poor & white cloth groups are in more difficulty. The ways of communication are slowely recovering and hope of saving lives of survivers are reducing specially in rural areas. The agencies and government may devise a joint plan to establish a central aid places and register the affecttees for distribution of goods properly among the needdy.
2005-10-18

SAKIRLLAH AROGUNDADE FROM NIGERIA said:
The earth quake is realy disaterous and unbearable, May Almighty Allah give the people of Pakistan the strength and courage to bear the tragedy,this is a sign to Muslim Ulama that World is moving to an end, and that we should be more closer to Almighty Allah.
2005-10-17

HUMERA AFZAL QADRI FROM INDIA said:
This is really a great tragedy and much more than it a strong examination on part of Muslim community,as we people have departed from actual faith,which is embeded in Qur'an and Sunnah.This is all due to our actions that Allah has conferred on us such a big torment, very hard to overcome.But the thing which is under our will is to seek forgiveness of Allah (SWT) and repent to Him as much as possible.Surely Allah will be with us and forgive our committed errors and sins.After all He is the Best-Forgiver.We can only pray for the solace of the departed souls.InshaAllah they will surely be enjoying the wisdom in jannah(Paradise).
2005-10-17

AMBER FROM USA said:
it is very sad! i pray for the people and god bless our country(PAKISTAN)....! we all should pray in the holy month of ramadan that may Allah belss our country, muslims and show them the right path! amen!
2005-10-17

NOR FROM SINGAPORE said:
This is such a sad tragedy...even sadder is that the relevant authorities are slow to react in such calamities. Billions were spent on war machines and nuclear warheads but so little thought on building stronger buildings that could have resisted such tremendous earthquakes. Surely, they would have learnt something from other countries who had experienced such earthquakes, an example would be japan. It is sadden that the government never take proactive actions in saving the lives of its pple. Those very lives might have been saved.
2005-10-15

UMBREEN FROM US said:
It is indeed so very much painful and unbearable to even try to imagine as to what it would've been like, for those who were experiencing such hardship in their consciousness, and then finally had to leave the world to meet their Lord. May Allah swt place them in the highest ranks of Jennah & may Allah swt make it easy on the survivors. Ameen.
2005-10-14

DR EDRISS FROM US said:

Enna Lee Allah wa Ennaa Elayhe Raaje'oon.
2005-10-14