Thanks to everyone for their concern and well-wishes. I'm relieved to report that my family in Islamabad is fine, but saddened to hear about the death toll and injuries. To read an on-the-scene take on the matter, check out Chai's blog. Else, here's my grandfather's report. I hope that all you bloggers and blurkers are fine and your families are safe.


A national tragedy occured at 8.50 am yesterday when an earthquake registering 7.5 in the Richter scale struck Islamabad, Rawalpindi and cities as far as Multan and Lahore, resulting in human and material casualties unprecedented in a century. We are all safe but due to disruption in communication, I couldn't contact you. Hardly a mile from our house, a 10-storey block was reduced to rubble. I was about to start work at my desk when the cupboard door flew open, the photographs hung on the wall and the ceiling fan started swinging crazily. Sabeeha held me by the wrist and I had time just to grab my glasses and walking stick before going out into the lawn.

Everyone was out on the road or lawn, praying silently. After-shocks continued till late into the night and the unexpected thunder and lightning made things more scary. Today passed off without incident although the Met Office has indicated possibility of after-shocks of 5 to 6 strength for 48 hours. News is coming in on the TV of heavy casualties in the northern areas and the armed forces are busy with the civil administration, coping with the disaster. High-rise buildings in Islamabad have developed cracks but the rest appear to be OK. More later as I am feeling off-colour. Allah Hafiz. DND

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