Earthquake Numbers – A Year Later

Posted on October 7, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters
Total Views: 15940


Adil Najam

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

Original estimate of long-term reconstruction costs = US$ 3.6 Billion
Current (updated) estimate of long-term reconstruction costs = US$ 4.4 Billion
Current estimated shortfall = US$ 800 Million
Total displaced by Earthquake = 3,500,000
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.

18 Comments on “Earthquake Numbers – A Year Later”

  1. Asim says:
    October 8th, 2006 1:26 am

    Amazing how much still needs to be done

  2. iFaqeer says:
    October 8th, 2006 4:06 am


    According to the netizen’s reference of choice, the Wikipedia, the recent earthquake hit South Asia 08:50:38 Pakistan Standard Time (03:50:38 UTC/ 09:20:38 India Standard Time) on Saturday, October 8th, 2005. It was Friday night here in California and, as a lot of us are wont to do, before I turned in to sleep, I happened to glance at Yahoo! News headlines. There was mention about a quake in Pakistan. It seemed like a pretty serious natural disasterâ€

  3. October 8th, 2006 6:52 am

    The whole city of Balakot is dead, it was not merely a city but it was also a well known historical place. It was the place where Syed Ahmed shaheed & Shah Ismail Shaheed along with hundreds of freedom fighters were martyred.

    It was tanoori Roti and Kabab which was highly popular in whole area of Mansehra and people were coming from various place to taste them but it is today the Balakot where people have very less to feed their children.

    You are right Adil, they still need a help from us. Therefore I ask everyone again and again that please pay Fitrana to some organisations whose members are physically working there. I don’t think it is so wise to give this money to your local Masjid, as they have enough. And if they want to give this money to victims then I still doubt that it would reach to the right people. Please give Fitrana and Zakat like these small organisations Sachsen e.V.,
    These small international organisations are no missionary or church organisations who go there in the name of serving the victims and start preaching their religion.

    I talk about organisation of Sachsen e.V. because its members in Balakot and Muzafferabad and still engaged in helping people they are doctors, trekkers and students from Europe and from there own salary and funds from various organisations to help them physically. They are even building a school for children, where “dozens of other schools flattened in villages across the mountainous and more than 400 children in school were dead.”

    I know a German doctor who left his practice and took some months holidays to help these people. I ask myself who is he? Not a Pakistani indeed! but a human being who cannot see people suffering and here we are who already forgot our own people is this the Pakistaniant and Insaniat???

    I believe many of you are young and never thought of giving Zakat yet but maybe it is a time so lets think about it and if you earn some money give a small part of it. It was a 50 cent of one German which helped many children in Balakot to have shoes in winter. Your some cents can give them life think about it.

  4. Pakpics says:
    October 8th, 2006 8:51 am

    I wish that it may done so soon. so that little children will be safe from killing winter there. ALLAH un sab par apni Khas Rehmat Nazil kare. Aameen

  5. Naveed says:
    October 8th, 2006 11:40 am

    the outpouring of emotions and tears has remained a constant since last year… this day will always mark the day of our collective national sorrow.. just listening to fakhr-e-alam and his recollections of relief brought a deluge of tears. in the words of Faiz, zindagee kya kissee muflish kee qaba hai jiss main har gharee dard kay payvand lagay jaatay hain

  6. October 8th, 2006 1:33 pm

    Salam Pakistan,

    I am so sorry about what happened to your country and your people. I just posted a post in my blog regarding the earthquake and borrowed your images. I hope ATP doesn’t mind it. Jazakallah. My prayers are with those affected,

    Kind regards,
    From a Sri Lankan Muslim,

  7. October 8th, 2006 2:28 pm

    Millions of thanks Adil, as your posts about earthquake in Pakistan is bringing the muslims of other countries to spread the word. Also many thanks to other friends like iFaqeer and Unite Muslims as your efforts can give a life to many people in need.

  8. MQ says:
    October 8th, 2006 3:22 pm

    Saadia and Unite Muslim,

    The October earthquake in Pakistan was a human disaster. It just so happens that a vast majority of the people who perished in this disaster were Muslims. As human beings and as Pakistanis it is natural for us to be affected by this tragedy and try to help as much as we can. But it seems a bit selfish to me to stress only the Muslim aspect of this tragedy as you two have done in your comments. Were the majority of the victims of this earthquake Christians wouldn’t you want to help them?

    Please remember, the God of Islam is Rabbul-Aalameen, not just Rabbul-Muslameen.

  9. BhindiGosht says:
    October 8th, 2006 4:48 pm

    I agree with you MQ. We must remember that help came from all quarters, not only Muslims. We really should start seeing things in the human perspective and not just through the Muslim lens.

  10. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 8th, 2006 4:53 pm

    MQ, Terrific point.

  11. iFaqeer says:
    October 9th, 2006 4:19 am

    MQ, to use the traditional phrase, Haq, bahu! Baishak, bahu!!

  12. October 9th, 2006 6:30 am

    [quote comment="3908"]Saadia and Unite Muslim,

    The October earthquake in Pakistan was a human disaster. It just so happens that a vast majority of the people who perished in this disaster were Muslims. As human beings and as Pakistanis it is natural for us to be affected by this tragedy and try to help as much as we can. But it seems a bit selfish to me to stress only the Muslim aspect of this tragedy as you two have done in your comments. Were the majority of the victims of this earthquake Christians wouldn’t you want to help them?

    Please remember, the God of Islam is Rabbul-Aalameen, not just Rabbul-Muslameen.[/quote]

    MQ I agree with you but at the moment we are talking about earth quake in Pakistan and I meant muslims because the majority are there muslims but never I said that one should not help non-muslims there. I even gave the example of non-muslims helping in Pakistan if they can help us then we can also help our people or any other people on earth.

    You cannot imagine that how much I still get boiled with anger when it reminds me of bunch of Pakistani students who refused to help us to raise funds for earthquake victims. I found it very disgusting that they gave an excuse of attending classes, though the classes are not for whole day or weekends. They were those guys who when arrived first time in Bremen/Germany and needed help then it was me who ran to admin dept. and town hall so that these guys who are new in Germany can get the welcome money (150 € from the city Bremen). As I thought it could help them to survive in new city/country. And it was only those guys who prefered not to help their own people, what a shame. Now when I see them I do feel intense dislikeness for them.

    Infact there were mostly non Pakistanis and non muslims as well who helped us to raise funds. It was enough for me to open my eyes about humanity across the borders of nationalism and religion.

  13. MQ says:
    October 9th, 2006 11:33 am


    I am glad that you agree with the point I was trying to make. You see, what bothers me is the exclusivity that we tend to attach with ourselves. Like, Muslims helping Muslims only. Why not Muslims helping all human beings? Notice the way the “Unite-Muslim”, after sending his prayers and sympathies to Pakistanis, signs his name as “A Sri Lankan Muslim”. I would have been greatly touched if he had signed his name only as “A Sri Lankan”.

    I don’t want to minimize the efforts and assistance of Pakistani diaspora. They made extra ordinary efforts in providing relief to the quake victims. But let’s not forget that people of other faiths contributed as much, if not more, to these efforts.

    Regarding the few individuals of Pakistani origin in your community who were reluctant to extend any help, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. There are all sorts of people in all communities. Generoisty is evenly distributed among all communities — and so is selfishness.

  14. October 9th, 2006 1:10 pm

    Hi MQ

    I do completely agree with you. During the Tsunami in Sri Lanka when I helped I didn’t differenciate between Sinhala, Tamils or Muslims. True I have my Islamic objectives supreme but I see all Human beings as equal and share their happiness as well as love.


  15. Babar says:
    October 9th, 2006 6:57 pm

    Adil – thanks for providing the big picture view.

    Saadia, MQ – just to let you know that I have experienced most success with earthquake relief fund raising from Churches in the US. Just like you, I am impressed by their kindness and generosity. The least we can do in return is to be involved in our communities and invest time and effort for the general good. Otherwise we may be seen as self-centered and selfish.

  16. Daktar says:
    October 10th, 2006 11:07 am

    Adil, this $100million that was pledged but not paid. Is this mostly from governments or from charities through individual pledges?

  17. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 11th, 2006 3:06 pm

    Please read Wusat’s baate se baat in the attached link. This was one of his masterpieces.

  18. Watan Aziz says:
    January 14th, 2010 12:32 pm

    Pakistani rescue and support teams have excellent experience in reaching remote areas, working on minimal resources and assisting people with life on a string.

    I hope GOP can send a team to Haiti and offer all possible assistance.

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