Friday, October 14, 2005

Pakistan - Muzaffarabad - report from the scene

From Zarina Khan, journalist, via email.

My newspaper sent me to report on the earthquake on Sunday, or was it Monday, I can't remember. I've been stuck in a time warp since I got here, the hours only marked by the stories I manage to file.

For all those of you who are wondering, YES it is as bad if not worse than the reports reveal. This is a living nightmare.

I got back from Muzaffarabad yesterday. It looks like photos of bombed out Dresden. Whole buildings are collapsed. Parts of the Himalayas are strewn across the roads. Cars are crushed under the rubble. Walking into that city was like walking into a post-Apocolyptic tragedy.

The air is beginning to smell of rotting flesh and few rescuers have reached the remote area to pull survivors from the rubble. What with the rain and freezing hail, those trapped inside don't have much of a chance if help does not get here soon. Those who escaped unhurt, are facing hunger and thirst, as there is no water and little food to be had in most areas. I'm leaving again for Kashmir in the morning. I doubt things will be much better.

More is needed here, and faster. Get on the horn and spread the word. People's lives are at stake.
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