[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Eyewitness: Kashmir devastation
In the aftermath of the South Asian earthquake, people in parts of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir got in touch with the BBC News website and spoke about the devastation in the region.

Muhammad Furqan
Muhammad Furqan witnessed scenes of devastation as minarets collapsed

Muhammad Furqan Riaz lives in Mirpur and he describes the panic that gripped his city.

People poured onto the streets in fear of further shocks. People sat and prayed.

But not everybody escaped successfully.

I heard that four teenage students at a religious school were killed when the minaret of the mosque fell on them while they were escaping. Other children were killed in this way.

I visited these collapsed mosques and I believe this is true horror.

Bodies were lying on the ground as people dug them out, they were covered in blood and totally unrecognisable.

I saw one woman at the scene of a collapse crying as they couldn't find body of her son: "I just want his body, then at least I will know he is dead."

Another boy was only recognisable by his hair as his face was crushed with sheer weight of the concrete: "He went to buy things for fast break," a relative said.

These scenes of devastation caused grief among people.

I visited the hospital and saw scores of people lining up to donate blood. I offered blood but hospital officials refused most of the donors as no blood was needed.

Some neighbours who live in multi-storey apartments have come to our house as it is one-storey.

We are nervous about sleeping inside our houses, many prefer to sleep in backyards and open areas of their homes.

We thank Allah, it could have been much worse. Do pray for us.

Nabeel Ahmad says people in his part of Tehsil Dadyal are afraid to go to sleep for fear of another earthquake striking.

I was sleeping at the moment the earthquake struck.

Reader Jibran Bashir from Kashmir sent in this photo the collapsed  boundary walls of his house
A reader from Kashmir sent this photo of the collapsed boundary wall of his house

I felt my bed shaking, and I felt like I was almost flying. I thought it was a dream at first.

But when I opened my eyes, I realised the world was shaking and I saw that water from the tanks was turbulent. The water from Kashmir's Mangla Dam generated large waves.

My father works in a hilly area and said he saw everything become dust. They thought it was the end of the world.

Some homes have collapsed close by, but there have been no deaths. Many walls and mosques have collapsed.

I am a medical student. I have heard rumours that two hospitals in Muzaffarabad are damaged, apparently one has collapsed fully.

I cannot reach a friend in Rawalakot, very close to the epicentre. I am worried that he is under a building.

The lines are all down. Now a thunderstorm is here.

We are very nervous in case an earthquake will come again during the next 48 hours.

We are staying up all night.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific