About an hour ago, there was another tremor around the same region as the original quake. Aftershocks that were noticeable in Islamabad had subsided two days ago and this was the first jolt we felt since then. I was working on earthquake.com.pk with the rest of the guys and though the quake felt very small to me, everyone else suddenly jumped up and started running outside, dragging me along. My arm somehow got a big scratch in this process.
Maybe it just felt stronger to most people since we were on the second floor, but I realized the whole building had emptied outside in a mad rush. My first thought was, “why are they leaving the office just because of a small tremor?” (the news services confirmed later on that it was a small tremor). Next, “why are they running like crazy?”. And lastly, I was surprised by the kind of comments I heard.
Some people believed it was another huge magnitude 7+ quake . Others thought it was definitely over 6. My opinion is that it couldn’t have been more than 5.0. Still others were convinced that it could not have been an “aftershock” 5 days after the last quake and that it was an “earthquake”, whatever that meant to them. When I soon went back up to continue my work, alone, I was called back down again since everyone was really worried about me. They planned to spend the night sitting in their cars in the middle of the spacious parking so I got all my things and came to my own office.
I really think earthquake drills should be started right away to train people how to react in such a situation. They should also be educated more about earthquakes and the geology of this area. Otherwise, panic such as this could cause serious physical as well as mental casualties.