This post comes live at exactly 8:50:38 AM, Pakistan Standard Time.
Exactly one year ago a massive and traggic earthquake hit Northern Pakistan, Kashmir, and parts of India and Afghanistan. This is a moment to simply pause, pray and ponder.
To think back on what has been done and what still needs to be done, I just compiled a quick list of some numbers of where things stand today. They make for a sobering read:
Total dead in Earthquake = 80,000 – 90,000
Estimated proportion of children amongst dead = 80 percent
Early recovery assistance pledged by international donors = US$ 255 Million
Early recovery pledges that have NOT been recieived yet = US$ 94 Million
Current (updated) estimate of long-term reconstruction costs = US$ 4.4 Billion
Current estimated shortfall = US$ 800 Million
Affectees still living in tents in camps = 35,000 – 40,000
At-risk families without permanent shelter = 60,000 – 100,000
Additional people who might need shelter this winter = 30,000 – 60,000
Estimated houses destroyed = 400,000
Estimated houses whose rebuilding has begun = 17%
By way of disclosure, I should note that these have been culled from various news reports from reputable sources. These are mostly based on estimates; and estimates do vary. However, the numbers are such that even if we were to assume that all are grossly exaggerated, even then they are worthy of our attention and of our reflection.
ATP has previously written about this issue here, here, here and here. There were numerous websites and blogs that came up in response to the tragic events of 8 October 2005, one of these – Help Pakistan – has called for Pakistani blogs to post on this subject on 8 October to raise awareness. I am sure many are planning to do so already and I think it is a great idea. Indeed, the web and blogs became one of the many vehicles through which the Pakistani citizenry everywhere joined hands to do whatever they could to assist in that time of great need.