“I felt the earth heave beneath my feet, it was the most powerful earthquake I have ever felt,” says Hajra Bibi, an aged woman from Charbagh, dazed and shaken from the experience.

Hajra Bibi was injured in the earthquake, and was admitted in a hospital along with her two children, who were also injured.

A man grieves the loss of his two children in the earthquake. -Photo provided by author
A man grieves the loss of his two children in the earthquake. -Photo provided by author

Terror stricken residents panicked as the earth shook, and ran out of their homes screaming in fear when the earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck the scenic Swat valley.

The earthquake has claimed the lives of over 150 and injured hundreds more, with casualties expected to rise as remote areas are reached by rescue and relief teams.

The government has declared an emergency in all government and private hospitals of the region. According to reports, 80 per cent of houses in Shangla have been destroyed.

Residents of Pakistan’s northern areas still have horrifying memories from the massive earthquake that devastated the region in 2005.

“We thought that the earth would split open again, like it did 10 years ago,” says Zainab Bibi, a resident of Amankot.

Injured lying on the floor of STH. -Photo provided by author
Injured lying on the floor of STH. -Photo provided by author
Two injured children wait for medical staff to treat them in STH -Photo provided by author
Two injured children wait for medical staff to treat them in STH -Photo provided by author

Zainab adds that the air too was filled with an ear shattering sound.

Bakht Rawan, a resident of Parrarai, rushed an injured neighbour to the hospital, saying that all the villagers ran to the riverbank while many houses in his village were destroyed.

Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital (STH), which is the largest in Malakand division, was short of beds to treat the injured, who were lying on the ground awaiting treatment.

Hundreds of people have reached the hospital to donate blood and help in any way they can, while lawmakers and officials from provincial administration are trying to ensure that all help is provided to the affectees.

“I came to the hospital to assist, and sent all the Assistant Commissioners to sub-divisional hospitals to do the same,” says Deputy Commissioner of Saidu Sharif, Mehmood Aslam Wazir.

Army troops have also reached Malakand division, and have initiated rescue and relief efforts.

Families of the injured crowd STH. -Photo provided by author
Families of the injured crowd STH. -Photo provided by author

Opinion

Editorial

No pardon for rape
Updated 07 Feb, 2023

No pardon for rape

Cultural filters and biases can often lead to faulty applications of the law.
Health insurance
07 Feb, 2023

Health insurance

THE planning ministry is reported to have raised objections to Punjab’s flagship universal health coverage...
The people’s demands
07 Feb, 2023

The people’s demands

AS the people of KP are literally on the frontline of the battle against terrorism and violent extremism, they are...
The Musharraf enigma
Updated 06 Feb, 2023

The Musharraf enigma

The Musharraf era holds numerous lessons for Pakistan’s ruling elite, civilian and military.
Staying neutral
06 Feb, 2023

Staying neutral

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has what is perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the country. The countless...
Wikipedia ban
06 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ban

THE country was back in a familiar, dark place last week when the PTA blocked Wikipedia over the charge that it...