A natural disaster is our sudden overwhelming and unforeseen event. No to disasters are the same, yet they all have similarities in human suffering and material loss. There are many natural disasters that can imperil life and property. Some of them are volcanoes, earthquakes floods, explosions, and avalanches, etc. There is a result of natural phenomenon and strikes without warning. Some disasters are more severe than others. Some can bring more damage to the earth, life, and property.
An enormous earthquake struck the northern region of Pakistan on Saturday, October 8, 2005, at 8:51 a.m. It caused widespread destruction in the area of Azad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and India’s Western and Southern Kashmir It is epicenter was 90 Km North Northeast of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It is magnitude was measured to be 7.6 Richter scale.
This was the deadliest earthquake in the history of the sub-continent. According to reports, more than 73,000 peoples died and almost 2.8 million people homeless. The major affected towns in Pakistan were Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Rawlakot, and Balakot. In addition, Islamabad, Shinkiari, Batgram, Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Murree were also damaged. Thousands of bodies lay buried under the gigantic heaps of rubble.
The rescue work started immediately, but was initially hampered because of the mountainous terrain, bad weather and damaged or collapsed buildings and roads. Government Agencies and NGOs made every effect to deliver relief supplies to the affected people. As the winter was about to set in, temporary camps were set up the affectees. It was great devastation, but the effects of the troops as well as civilians provided relief to the survivors.
Effective relief work started immediately in the earthquake it area. The rescue teams were worried about the safety of the affected people. So every effect was made to rescue people at the earliest to safer places. Pakistan Army, social workers, students, and people from every walk of life reached the devastated areas without any loss of time. First aid, dry ration, clean drinking water, and cooked food are provided. Mobile field hospitals saved many lives.
The recent earthquake is not the first devastating incident in the region. The historic record shows that the largest earthquake to strike in the 20th century occurred on 31st May 1935 near Quetta (Baluchistan). Up to October 2005 earthquake, this has been the deadliest earthquake in the reason. It killed 35000 people. It is magnitude was 8.1 The devastation caused by this earthquake was beyond belief. Terrible mud volcanoes followed the earthquake. The houses in outlying villages were completely wiped out. It took quite a long time to rehabilitate the people and reconstruct the damaged buildings and roads.
These areas affected by the 1935 and 2005 earthquakes have been rebuilt. People have started a new life by provision of basic utilities. The ruined school buildings have been rebuilt and life has returned to normalcy. The rebuilt buildings are earthquake resistant and residents feel safe.
Disaster management can best be handled by the local community. Volunteers take an active part in such situations. There is a great need for regular disaster management training to bring awareness among people. Community compressing people from Public Works Department, Police, Fire Department, and Communication should be fully prepared to take action immediately. The widespread disasters can be averted by timely management.