Earthquake Numbers – A Year Later

Posted on October 7, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters
Total Views: 25911

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 responses to “Earthquake Numbers – A Year Later”

  1. Babar says:

    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.

  2. Unite Muslim says:

    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.


  3. MQ says:


    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.

  4. Saadia Khan says:

    [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.

  5. iFaqeer says:

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

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