It has been just over 32 hours since the earthquake struck and the death toll is still rising. The last count was over 19,000 dead and over 42,000 injured. Aftershocks had stopped after the early morning ones, but they have returned in groups of 3 or 4, separated only by minutes. There were quite a few very long ones this afternoon.
Though most of the images on TV show the single apartment block in Islamabad, virtually all the damage was done in the mountainous region north of here. There are reports of mudslides there and there isn’t much aid getting through due to blocked roads and bad terrain. Last night’s thunderstorm and rain didn’t help either. All this would make it very difficult to get accurate casualty and death figures.
At the time of the quake and for a while after it, things didn’t look nearly as bad. There weren’t even any reports of any structural damage, let alone collapses and deaths. It was only much later that the actual realization came through.
My friends and I, as a lot of other people, really want to help out with the rescue effort, but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do on the ground right now. Without the right expertise, resources and planning, it might actually hinder the rescue effort instead of helping it. Since most of the rescue work is currently only possible by air, driving upto such a place would only cause problems such as road blocks.
In the meantime, we have decided to do whatever we can using our current skillsets. I was searching for a central website which might accept donations online, but did not find any and it is one area I can work on. We should have something running soon.
Here are a few links which might help those wanting to make donations: