Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Scenic Devli village reduced to ruins

The killer earthquake of Oct 8 claimed 62 lives and flattened all 400 homes in the village of Devli, 65 kilometres to the north-east of Mansehra town. Those who survived the quake have been forced to live in the open sky. Most of those who died were women and children. Eight men also perished in the quake. Besides the village of Devli, the number of dead and injured in the adjoining villages of Nararban, Chinarkot, Sair, Chingari, Doudpat, Jabbar, Kairi, Lakhara, Pakha, Kund and Phalaila is more than 300.

“We are in an extremely difficult situation,” says Syed Farman Shah, headmaster of the government high school, in Devli. “We have nothing left”.

“The earthquake razed our houses to the ground, killed scores of our relatives and family members, destroyed our crops and cattle, cracked our mountains and polluted our sweet water fountains,” Mr Shah said.

Despite that the villagers have vowed not to move out from Devli to the newly created tent villages. “After all, we have our survived kin and family members, the forest and agriculture land, our cattle, the means of our livelihood, the graves of our ancestors in Devli village,” Mr Shah said. Most of all they are reluctant to go because they are uncomfortable with the idea of their veiled women staying in a tent village. The buildings of the basic health unit, the government high school, middle school and both primary schools for boys and girls in Devli collapsed following the quake. However, the schoolchildren were fortunate enough to be saved from coming under the debris. Read More....

Source: Dawn
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