Many people are feared dead as a powerful earthquake strikes Pakistan, north India and Afghanistan.
Reader picture: Awais Yaqub
This is a third page of comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
So many buildings collapsed, so many people died, so many stuck and dying. I've been to the affected site in Islamabad, it was so depressing. People standing in hope that their relatives stuck in the debris will survive, people praying, trying to help.....and worst I've seen is people criticizing the rescue efforts! Why can't we join hands for once, and instead of standing there and criticizing the rescuers, help them save the precious lives.
Muhammad Usman, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
I am resident of the affected area. When the earthquake jolts started every one came out of their homes and buildings. My father saw buildings falling down, he was travelling in a vehicle and found buildings collapsing in front of his own eyes. There were so many buildings which fell. Even the biggest hospital of the region also got damages and almost all the patients who were in emergency died due to long waves of the quake.
Imran, Abbottabad Pakistan
It was around 8:50 when I was sleeping and suddenly my eyes opened with some horrible screams I took my nephew and ran out side, when I saw my house it was in a terrible condition that can not be described, now I just want to request the govt of Pakistan to please send some of the rescuers to the other affected areas like Shangla, BalaKot etc.
Wasil Farooq , NWFP, Pakistan
It's been nerve wracking to watch from so far away. My husband's relatives have been the few and extremely fortunate ones to have escaped their home in Muzaffarabad safely. They spent the night in a courtyard in the rain. May God have mercy on all those who have been affected. This has been a catastrophe of inconceivable proportions.
Neelma S, Chicago, USA
I have seen the earthquakes my self and can imagine the suffering of the people in Pakistan. People of my village Chakesar in Shangla NWFP are suffering as well, I managed to call today. My family has been sleeping rough, out in the open in a makeshift tent for two nights now. My family said there is no official help in the village, many people have died and all the mud houses have collapsed. One of the schools has also collapsed in which my cousin's leg is broken, the hospital is not well equipped and she is suffering with severe pain. I would like to appeal to the government of Pakistan to go to these areas and help those poor people as well please.
Ajmal Khan, London UK
I live just a few paces from Margalla towers. I was asleep when the earthquake struck. The sound was like nothing I have ever heard before. It was just like a ferocious storm. I rushed outside and found my mother and sister already outside, bare footed and reciting verses from the Holy Quran. Then suddenly we heard a deafening noise which was accompanied with the rise of a huge white cloud of dust. It took it around 2-3 minutes to settle down and by the time it did, the sight in front of us was unimaginable. The Margalla towers had collapsed. I had many close friends who lost their lives in this tragic incident. The entire family of one friend is missing. The only report about his family is that his dad's body has been found. I can feel the aftershocks even now. May God protect us from any other major calamity.
Osama Ahmad, Islamabad,Pakistan
I cannot explain in words what has happened in Pakistan. Thousands of people are dead. There are after shocks and earthquakes following one after another of magnitude of 5 to 6.5.my whole family including me were sleeping when we were struck by the quake. It was probably for twenty to twenty five minutes. There were emergency speeches made in the mosques. It was like to be sitting in boat during a hurricane. It was my worst nightmare which I cannot forget. My house is safe but in front of my eyes many walls came tumbling down.
Abdur-Rehman Qureshi, Islamabad,Pakistan
First I felt it was some nightmare, everything was moving to and fro with mysterious roaring noise. I tried to flee outside of the home, but the sheer strength of the tremors made it impossible to walk. My mother who was in the living room watching television too tried hard and finally made it to the street outside. The jolts continued for quite 5-6 minutes and it seemed that time has stopped, every moment was difficult to pass. In the street all the neighbours were outside there homes and were in a state of terrible fear. Thank God there was no serious damage to the city of Jhelum. My heartfelt condolences are with the families of the victims. May God bless us all.
Sohail Bashir Bhutta, Jhelum, Pakistan
It was the worst earthquake of my life and was a terrible experience. We were working in our office suddenly my friend shouted 'out, it's an earthquake'. For a few seconds we did not realise what to do, but when it got stronger we found it difficult to move out. The whole building and the earth was shaking like it was inside a washing machine. The windows of the building broke and we thought that the whole building was going to collapse any moment.
Khawaja Muhammad Azfar, Pakistan - Sialkot
The area where I and my family live is out of danger. But every few hours, the ground shakes again. Since this morning 9 o'clock till now (02:20) I counted 10 times when the ground shook. And I feel that it's still not safe for everyone to stay at home. It would be better if you took reports from each and every area about their opinion and how they feel about it. Thank You! -Faheem
Faheem Alam, Islamabad
This is unbelievable. The earthquake has shaken the entire country. I hope there are not too many serious injuries.
Anonymous, England Slough
The entire shock is the heaviest earthquake ever happened in the Asian region, people panic, no one knows where to go.
Hameed Ullah Khan, Abbottabad, Pakistan
It was so horrible. I was in my office on the 1st floor and I could see my computer and table swaying. All staff rushed out. The water in the swimming pool was just like waves in the sea. All I can say that it was horrible.
Shazia, Lahore, Pakistan
It was a very horrible experience. On first account, we could not understand what was happening but suddenly we felt that it was an earthquake and I, my wife and my son ran down the building. All of a sudden I felt that our maid servant was inside - I again came back and shouted to her to run down fast from the six storey building. It was the second time I witnessed a massive earthquake, the first was in Gujrat on 26th January. This earthquake was almost of the same magnitude as of Gujrat - as per our feelings but by the grace of god, damages are not to that extent.
Manoj Sharma, Chandigarh India
It was terrible, I was sleeping, was woken up by severe shocks. I looked out of the window - my motorbike was shaking due to earthquake, In the refrigerator, milk and other foodstuff fell down, the children were scared. It was most horrible jolts which I have ever seen in my whole life. It was God's blessing that we escaped. Thanks, God.
Dr Farman Ali, Hafizabad, Pakistan
Around 08:30AM local time when I was sitting at home reading a book when suddenly I felt that the bed under me was shaking. I took the children out of their rooms and told them to stay in the yard tell the situation got calm. It was the strongest earthquake I have ever seen in my live, I was praying and asking God to assist and stop the earthquake, in Kabul damage to houses or people has been reported but in the eastern city of Jalalabad there have been rumours of one child been wounded and several houses destroyed. I heard of people in Kashmir and I am very sad about them I hope God will forgive our sins and we have less earthquakes in future.
Saber, Afghanistan Kabul
Oh my God... now that was scary... I woke up in the morning due to my bed shaking violently, my first thought was well this is it, the end is near and it went on and on for a continuous 5 or 6 seconds. The next thing I know is that my sister is telling me that the Margalla towers in F-10 Markaz had collapsed. We also live in F-10 and as soon as we left home I knew we couldn't get far. The cops would not let us pass. therefore me and a friend of mine walked to ground zero, the scene of utter destruction. The Pakistani rescue services are not so well prepared for a catastrophe such as this. The rescue operation is still going on four hours after the initial quake. We should be better prepared in the near future.
It was so strong, that for a minute I felt completely confused about what had happened.
Puneet, Noida , Delhi
As I was about to leave for school, my daughter said 'earthquake!' and our substantially built house began swaying and shaking. It was the worst quake I have experienced in my 30 years here. Even afterwards I felt dizzy and wobbly in the legs. I phoned friends in Islamabad who were experiencing aftershocks and sounded panic-striken.
Angela Lovsey, Lahore Pakistan
Everything right from the ceiling fan to the TV trolley started shaking. I first thought it would be a few seconds, but when it was going on and on, we managed to get out of the first floor of a four-storey building. Some women fainted.
Viridhar Bhat, Indirapur, Delhi, India
I am in the affected area of Pakistan in Lahore at Shah Alam market...a building has collapsed....it was so horrible...I've witnessed the first horrible earthquake in my life... I never experienced such a horrible nature attack in my life....but this time I saw death in front of me... six people died in the collapsed building...this was the worst nightmare with open eyes.
It was a very fine morning of holy Ramadan as before. And I was in my office for some extra work. Suddenly I felt that as my computer, the entire room was shaking, but rejected the idea. But within few seconds it felt as if the building was ready to collapse, so I rushed outside on the road where I could see lots of people worrying, praying and the road felt as it would soon break and all the objects around me would crack. It lasted more than two minutes; I have never seen such a frightening incident before in my 23 years of life.
Ijaz Ahmed, Lahore, Pakistan
For the first shock No other word except horrifying. For the aftershocks the best word would be, terrifying. Never in my whole life have I ever experienced such an event. I was sleeping when the first shock came, I woke up and heard things falling from the shelves, when I came down I saw people coming out of their homes and standing in open grounds with terror filled eyes.
Chaudhry Zahid Ali, Islamabad, Pakistan
Nothing serious happened in the City called Sialkot. I work for an ISP firm, I was sleeping in the server room when suddenly I felt my body was shaking, I thought that someone was trying to wake me up or shaking me badly. Then when I opened my eyes, I saw the ceiling fan trembling, the PCs were shaking badly, I thought maybe I'm experiencing an Entity Phenomenon, I wasn't scared but was curious. After that I went outside to look for others, fortunately my colleagues left the building and didn't bother to wake me up, anyway, I went to the kitchen and saw the crockery was shaking but none was broken, I went back to my bed and said "well! when its gonna happen it'll happen".
Then after a few seconds I felt the ground shaking for the second time, this time it wasn't that much. (¿) People are still shocked, a few didn't even open the shops and many are still scared. Everyone was aware of the Earthquake so nothing serious really happened; People were out on the streets. I was listening to different stories; I must say It was something new for everyone to experience. I feel sorry for the families who lost there loved ones. I'd like to thank the BBC for there services. All the Best.
Roger D. Jacob, Sialkot, Pakistan
I was at work in a call centre in Gurgaon, just south of Delhi, when I felt the desk wobbling. I thought it was strange as I only had two beers last night, then looked around and saw all the signs swaying, and felt the floor moving under my feet a little. It lasted about two minutes. The customer service agents left the building and I wasn't far behind them.
Adrian Merrick, Delhi, India (UK expat)
It was the strongest earthquake I have ever experienced in my life. The shocks felt for at least 2-5 minutes including a couple of high scale jolts. People rushed outside the buildings/houses. Traffic on roads was blocked. Offices closed after the incident. People are still afraid to go back to homes/buildings.
Raheel Farooq, Lahore, Pakistan
Thousands of people have been affected. Buildings have collapsed. I hope the death toll is under a hundred.
Farhaad, Slough England
I was in the office and felt mild jerks in my city but later thru internet I came to know that it was really shocking news and devastation caused by the earthquake, all beyond my imagination. When I see ruined buildings on the pictures my heart goes to the victims. Thanks
Dileep Saxena, Ghaziabad (U.P.) India
It seemed that whole of the building was shaking when I came out of bathroom early today. My kids were desperate, asking me what was going on and who was at the main gate, as the gate was also shaking as if somebody was shaking it. My 3 month-old daughter was sleeping in the middle of the room. My wife couldn't decide what to do rather started crying and praying. It seemed for a while that it over for us and we would be no more in a couple of seconds, but God helped us out. Idris
Idris Gani Dar, Islamabad, Pakistan.
All I want to say is that may god help them and bless them all.
Emile, Sutton, London
Video coverage was excellent and news is up to date.. good... keep it up.
Kishore, Auckland, New Zealand
It was 8:52 in the morning, when suddenly everything just started swinging, it was a terrifying experience. I have seen many quakes before but it was the fist time that I could actually see the earth moving and buildings swinging and it stayed that way for over a three minutes' time. Windows and doors were making horrible noises as in the storm. That was not al:l when all this had finished and I got back in to the home, aftershocks started and they too were of enormous magnitude and we are still feeling them. Authorities are saying these aftershocks would be coming for another 48 hours. All of it was a shocking experience.
Atif Ahmad, Islamabad, Pakistan
Was have just been on the phone with my folks in Srinagar (India controlled Kashmir). Srinagar is OK, Sopore has been hit, its district hospital has been flattened, Uri has been virtually destroyed.
R Khan, London, UK.
I was sleeping in my bed, when I suddenly was woken up by the shocking waves to my bed and my room, I got up hurriedly and got my brothers and sisters to wake up from the beds. We rushed outside and stood in the open street where people were gathering, we also got pulled some other people who were not aware yet. It was bad and the most shocking waves I have felt in my 25 years life. My TV trolley's glass doors were opened automatically, fans, walls, our main gate were shaking and sounding. People were praying for escape. It prolonged at least for 15 minutes with aftershocks. After that I opened the Internet and saw the BBC and other sites to know the reality, and I saw the scenes and pictures. It was terrible and horrible.
Saif Ullah Ch., Sahiwal, Pakistan.
The most horrible thing ever experienced by many of us living in Pakistan.
Ali Siddiq, Lahore, Pakistan
I am writing from Lahore Cantt. I got up with the strong shocks of the earthquake. The computer table was shaking that badly, that at one stage I thought that the monitor's almost down. There was panic everywhere, the entire family rushed towards the garden (out of the house )and when we saw the trees swaying heavily, we all knew that it was something really big! Everyone came on to the streets and started gossiping loudly. And it was not long before a local news channel (Geo) reported a huge earthquake that simply Rocked 50% of the nation.
Omar Khan, Lahore, Pakistan
It was around 8:40 AM when I felt my room literally moving from left to right and the walls shaking, the things from my table and shelves falling to the ground...next i heard my sister asking me and my family to get out of the house immediately.. i remember seeing half of the water of my aquarium spill out as the jolts shook it badly enough... got out of the house to see all the people of my street standing out already reciting Quranic verses and worried.. the quake lasted for about a minute or maybe more than that... and it was terrifying.. the road swayed as if it were a flag... there was another big shake around 4:00 PM which again frightened everybody and small jolts were felt inbetween and after the second quake... and its midnight now and we;re still feeling jolts... the news about the apartment complex and the various buldings collapsed is very depressing... i hope the tremors will finish soon.. because its worrying and annoying everybody now.
Arooj, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
I was sleeping when the quake hit, startled I woke up and realised what had happened. After watching the news I found out how great the devastation was. It was very painful to see that our government had no expertise in Quake management and were simply shifting rubble out. The Locals were much better in removing the rubble in the Islamabad disaster. If this message reaches any international Aid foundations I urge them to come to our help.
Haris Alshafi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
It was really shocking news for me.we bangladeshi with u.be patient everything will be ok. allah hafez
Mustafizur Rahman, Dhaka Bangladesh
I live in N.W.F.P povince of Pakistan. I fell the earth quick at 08:52am in my school.we (students)fell the earth quick atleast one min and 30 seconds.the earth quick mostly destroy the northen areas of pakistan.the comunecations , electricity are destroy by the earth equick.and the ling between the northen cites is cut up due the earth quick so the rescue can not reach there bye the road the pakisatn's army peform rescue oprations in northen sides with the help of hellicopters. bye
Kashif Nisar, Pakistan N.W.F.P(Kohat)
Shocking to see so many disasters coming one after the other.I hope there was minimal casuality during this earthquake. Would like to encourage everyone to donate as much as they can for the relief efforts.
Ahad Ali Sadiq, Texas, USA / Lahore, Pakistan
My native village, Banda Balola located 20km east of Mansahra, 12 km west of Muzaffarabad, 4km north of garihabibullah, 12km south of Balakot, on a 300 feet elevation from the river Kunhar. Population of about 300, everyone survived with only minor injuries. My two sisters and their children crawled out through collapsed walls, barely escaping from falling roofs. Everyone is camped out because all the homes have collapsed. They do not have food or shelter. They have been rained and hailed on since the quake. My cousins and others walked to Balakot to help dig out hundreds of people still burried under collapsed homes, according to my sister.
MUBARIK AHMED, Delaware, United States
I am with the nation in this hard time, and prepare to work as a volunteer. I pray for the dead persons.
Mohsin Rafique, Wapda Town Gujranwala. Pakistan
I'm looking for a friend from Islamabad. His name is Said Clark, about 30 years old and he is a tourist guide. icondeminas[at]hotmail.com.
Ignacio Condeminas, Barcelona, Spain
I was in the shower when I felt the tremors. There were many tremors & I rushed out of the shower just in a towel and got out of my apartment. Thank God, the earthquake was not as powerful in Delhi or the number of causalities would have been very high here. My family is in J&K and they are also safe though earthquake was powerful there. I thank God for giving us a chance to live.
Lalit Parkash, New Delhi, India
My friends elder sister is still under the debris and we all are still hoping for some thing good. Her family is standing there and are constantly checking the lists of evacuees so to check if Gul is among them. She went there to spend just one night as she had to check out from her guest room because it was booked for someone else for this night, and she was supposed to leave early morning for Lahore but now Allah knows the inside truth.
I feel really sorry for the losses suffered by the people of Kashmir (India, Pakistan occupied). I wish that this is going to be the next worst example of implementation of relief efforts because none of the governments has a plan about what they need. Both lack a sense of urgent need about immediate response to natural disasters.
Saurabh, Punjab, India
First of all, I just want to say that I hope everyone prays for the victims of the earthquake. My heart and soul is yearning to learn of the pain of the people and I hope that these people are not left and forgotten. Secondly, I agree with AA Patel (below) that the offers from Britain and the United States are an insult. Living in the silicon valley, I know many people who earn more than these offers. I just find it despicable that this is all these prosperous countries are offering.
Affan S., Cupertino, CA, USA
I got to know about the quake in the late afternoon when I came home and talked to my sister who lives in the northern part of Pakistan. And thereafter, I talked to my brother in Islamabad who said his whole building was shaking and he was sure it will come down. I spoke to my niece and nephew who were terrified and said they're still experiencing the aftershocks.
This is a big catastrophe and a moment where everyone should be united, without any boundaries and help the Pakistanis. I feel like flying to my country right now and do something for my brothers and sisters. As of now, all I am doing is praying for everyone that got affected due to this quake. I would also like to ask the world leaders to help the Pakistanis as much as they can in this horrifying moment of natural disaster. May Allah gives us the courage to face and deal with this devastation (Ameen).
Erum Hashmat Khan, Singapore
I am writing this sitting in my comfortable office in Dhaka - a thousand miles away from the calamity. I am yet to get news from my friend in Islamabad who lives in Sector F-10. I have been trying to reach him since yesterday. From this enormous distance between us, I can only wish and pray that he and his family are alive and safe. My stressed out mind refuses to think of any other possibility.
Reefat, Dhaka, Bangladesh
In view of the horrific size of the catastrophe what an insult it is to hear that Bush is promising $100,000 and Blair £100,000 aid packages. How much are they each spending in their war in Iraq?
Franklin Zwikel, Brussels, Belgium
I read through these messages and I'm reminded of the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. I understand about aftershocks, and why you don't want to sleep, especially in buildings that might collapse on you. The aftershocks may continue for several days. Every time you feel one, you will stop dead in your tracks. All conversation, all activity will stop and you will just... wait. I pray for your safety and wish you all good luck. I'm sure we will help you as best we can.
Paul Woodside, San Jose, California, U.S.A.
Yesterday my daughter who studies in a University in Islamabad send us a SMS that horrible earthquake has happened and she described that it was just like she was in the grinder, my mother who was living in a remote village of Distric Abbotabad survived but few of my relatives were not lucky enough. Well, too bad our country does not have the right equipment to remove debris and open roads, as they have been buying bullet proof cars instead of equipment. No crisis management at all
M.Aftab Abbasi, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
In the morning after fasting I was sleeping in my room along with my maid. Suddenly it seems that somebody is shaking my bed badly. I just got up and looked around. My father-in-law asked me to come out of the room because these were jolts of earthquake. And they are so powerful even in Lahore that I felt myself near to death.
It was so horrible. It continued for about two minutes, but thank God, he saved us from this natural disaster. But we have great sorrow and sympathy with the residents of affected areas.
Mrs Ali Khan, Lahore
The majority of the students here in Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Topi were sleeping on the weekend when the whole campus started shaking. I was asleep when I felt somebody was knocking at my door violently. Still half asleep, I realized that it was something else.
Nobody entered the hostels for the whole day as the aftershocks continued to harass people. Luckily no damage has been reported here. But this surely is the most horrible experience of my life.
M Hassan Yousuf, Topi, Swabi. Pakistan
The terror and fear from the devastation caused by the earthquake is so great that most of the individuals around the country, and myself are even sacred to sleep, as the aftershocks are still being experienced, last one around 0300. Everyone has been awake all night.
Rida Ijaz, Islamabad, Pakistan
I was taking my exam at my university, when the extraordinary shockwaves of this earthquake was being felt and all the other students began looking up if the roof would just fall. But all went fine. After that aftershocks were still being felt, the last one being felt an hour ago (0430).
Ahmad Tariq, Lahore, Pakistan
I didn't know that an earthquake had struck in the NWFP region of Pakistan until I watched it on my way back from uni on big screen in city centre. I straightaway called my family and I was pleased that they are okay. My sympathies goes to the people who lost their loved ones.
Ali, Liverpool Great Britain
There is an immediate need of creating a volunteer centre which could
coordinate the relief efforts by directing thousands of volunteers
where needed. Thousands of people must be looking for ways to help but
there is no central place where they could get proper info on how to
help. A TV or radio channel has the right grounds and resources for
such an effort and I'm also willing to help in making it possible.
I'm planning on going to Mansehra on my own to help in relief but this should be coordinated and some news agency must step forward.
Esam Khattak, Islamabad Pakistan
Surely Britain's pledge of $177,000 and the US's $100,000 is an insult. Many UK and US individuals earn more than that a year.
A A Patel, London UK
Exactly at the time of earthquake, I was chatting with one of my friends who works in Islamabad. After hearing his terrifying feelings about the extraordinary shocks that he just had experienced, I got worried about my family that also lives in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. I stopped everything and tried to get connected with my relations. It was after two hours when I got news that everyone at my home and among friends is safe. I had never digged out information on web for anything as I did today for this incident. May God keep everyone safe!
Moetasim Ashfaq, West Lafayette, IN, USA
I just wanted to say how sorry I am to learn about the loss of life in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. I appeal to the Indian prime minister to do everything we can to help our neighbours and do it NOW - there is no time for red tape, let's just get there and save lives and figure the rest out later. I have no idea what's needed, I am no expert but the army and emergency services dealt with the quakes in Gujarat and the tsunami and can help save some lives in Pakistan. Get them there. Tragedies bring out the best in us and it is heart-warming to read some of the heroic stories.
Sumit Saigal, Bombay, India
My family used to live in the apartment opposite the one which has fallen. Now there are a lot of people left homeless there and the weather is very rainy and cold. I hope the people of Islamabad will show their generosity and help those left homeless and hungry.
The quake started at about 8:50 am. It was mild in the start and I was watching TV. I took about 30 seconds to confirm it and then i started shouting "earthquake!". Then suddenly its intensity increased and the whole house was shivering. We ran out of the house but it was so terrifying because the earth was moving. All the people were out of their houses and just remembering Allah. The duration was about 2 to 4 minutes in Lahore. As it started slowly, the same was the case in the end. It took too much time to finish after bigger shakes. I have experienced many earth quakes before but the one that came today was most terrifying and death was so close to us. For about 15 minutes, all of us just could not believe what we had just faced. Afterwards we started calling friends and relatives. I am thankful to Allah that my whole family and friends are safe.
Sadaf Sadiq, Lahore, Pakistan
To show how far it reached, down here in Delhi, 500 or so miles away, sitting at the computer, I could feel a big to-and-fro motion as if I were on a fairground ride. The bottles in the cabinets were all clinking. No damage, though.
Ian, New Delhi, India
It was the most horrifying moment of my life, when it took few moments for me to decide that it was actually a quake, and forced me to jump from my balcony, at my residence.
Sumit Sood, Noida, India
My parents and my brother live in Islamabad about 300 yards away from the towers that collapsed. My brother was getting ready to go to his clinic, when he felt the shocks and then heard a very loud noise. He then ran out and saw there was half of Margalla Towers had fallen. There was smoke and dust from debris in the air and much could not been seen. He ran back inside the house and asked my parents to leave the house immediately. I last spoke to him 10 minutes ago and there have been two more aftershocks, and it is being said by authorities that it is not over yet. There will be more quakes for at least the next 24 hours. May God help us all.
Amir Aqeel, Islamabad, Pakistan
I was just on the phone with my Aunt in Rawalpindi, and heard the strong aftershock tremors in the background. It looks as if there has been another quake (presumably on a much smaller scale). I can't get through to them (she did mention she has to leave as the floor is beginning to move again !!!)
Adil Abid, Bristol, UK
I was sitting in my office in Jalalabad, where I work as a consultant on a USAID development project, when the quake struck. It started slowly, building in intensity, and as I stood in the doorway, it appeared to roll past in an East-West direction. There were one or two aftershocks but nothing like the initial quake, which was the strongest I had experienced anywhere. Fortunately Jalalabad appears to have escaped any serious damage.
Stuart Paton, Jalalabad, Afghanistan
I live near the Shalmi area where a 3 storey building collapsed. The scene was really astonishing as within 5 seconds the whole building collapsed taking many valuable lives with it.
Ahmed Zeeshan, Lahore, Pakistan
I am a 10 year old boy. I was sleeping in my room on the first floor of my house when I felt that my bed was shaking badly. I realized that it was an earthquake, not an ordinary one. It felt like I was having a ride on a camel. Then my sister called me to come down and leave the house at once. I think we are lucky to be safe and not one of those affected by the Islamabad collapse. Still, I feel for all those who have suffered at the hands of this natural tragedy.
Hashim Satti, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
My wife is near Gujar Khan. I have no news from her and I am very worried. If anyone hears any news from this area please post it.
Zephyr Hussain, Blackburn, UK
I just called my wife who thank God is safe... She is a doctor and tells me that all of them are sitting outside the hospital in Srinagar including even the terminally ill patients as tremors continue to be felt. After all that my people are going through we certainly did not need this natural disaster.
Ejaz Rabudi, Indian-administered Kashmir
Natural disasters like this put our already struggling countries back by decades. Over and above that, families who would have lost their only earning member in this tragedy will be plunged in poverty for many years to come. Can we implore the developed world to lend a helping hand here as soon as they can?
Namita Gandhi, London, United Kingdom
Here in Kabul, I woke to a rocking in the house. Headboard banging against the wall and cupboards shaking. A long, rolling earthquake that we figured would either turn to a jolt or subside. When it ended, we came away from the doorframes and went on with our morning, thinking it no big deal. Until we turned on BBC and realized we were only on the fringe.
Keith, Kabul, Afghanistan
I am shocked to hear about what has happened in Mirpur. My close relatives are safe and sound but my uncle's best friend has been killed as a mosque collapsed. There have been reports that another after shock quake hit about half an hour ago. People have been advised to leave premises in case of sudden quakes. Hope things get better.
Taz Nazir, London, England
I am worried about my daughter and son in-law travelling in Northern India. I have not heard from them. I cannot get through to any mobile numbers or the embassy in Delhi where they were last based. Is there any information regarding tourists in the area? Their names are Samantha Vieira and Johnathan Maine. Many thanks,
Daphne, Leicester UK
I am from F-10, next to Margalla towers, but am currently in London. My family is OK. The relief effort at Margalla tower was conducted by residents and passers-by, and some police officers. There was no Army for 5 hours. Relief was chaos. The Police chief appealed for private companies to bring in their heavy equipment. They didn't know what to do, endangering survivors caught in the rubble. We know the receptionist at Margalla towers said the building had cracks before quake. Authorities are responsible for preventable deaths.
Humaira Saleem, Islamabad
I was in the market place purchasing packets of milk, when I suddenly realized that shop is shaking. Soon after, I realized that it is an earthquake. When I saw people around me, they were gathered in streets. As the area in which I live is congested, everyone was on the road talking about the tremor. Time was for realization that every house should have some open space. And it was raising questions related to safety measures of multi-storeyed buildings.
Bandana Choudhary, New Delhi
It took everyone by surprise. It was a horrifying experience seeing your whole house shake like that. Lahore was rocked...I mean literally. I can only imagine how it must have felt in Kashmir and the Northern areas of Pakistan. The fiasco in Islamabad and elsewhere has revealed the pathetic state of preparedness of the concerned authorities in Pakistan for any such calamity. I wonder what would happen to us if (God Forbid) we were at war or another calamity were to hit us.
Mamur Mustapha, Lahore, Pakistan
I have spoken to my relatives who live in the District of Bagh in Azad Kashmir the villages are called Kharl Paniyaali and Kharl Baagh. These villages have been completely demolished. People are trapped under the rubble and need help urgently. These villages are quite isolated and it may take a long time to help them. In one school alone, 1500 girls are trapped or killed under the rubble.
Omar Khan, Leeds, UK
I am completing PhD at Napier University and have come from North West Pakistan. When i saw the BBC website i rang back home and was shocked to know that my house back home is gutted and my wife and young children are in deep sense of shock and fear. They are spending night at my uncle's and I have no idea what will happen next as the main sources of our income (our land and orchard) are under a massive landslide. I just have no idea what to do, what will happen?
Here in Swabi, we felt minor jolts initially... but then as we all woke up the jolts turned into horrifically thunderous vibrations, which triggered a stampede-like run for the open. The hostel buildings here suffered minor damage even with the visible swaying of the walls, back and forth. The entire campus populous was hushed by the hellish rumbling of the ground as the shockwaves passed underneath us. Computer tables and monitors started rattling and shaking as if they were possessed. The weak-footed amongst us were thrown off balance. Others grabbed on to each others hands and prayed for safety. 3 hours after the early morning breakfast at dawn ('Sehri' as it is the holy month of Ramadan in Pakistan) no one was in the mood to actually get up so soon. But a rude awakening like the one this morning has made us realize our misdemeanours as a nation. Sitting just a few kilometres away from the epicentre of the quake, it is not the most comfortable seat in the country, as this region is being hit by regular aftershocks and tremors as I write!
Obaid Rizavi, GIKI, Swabi, NWFP
My Sister lives in Islamabad along with her husband and four children. They survived the earthquake, but said that towns as close to 1 mile away from their house have been completely levelled. They feared a severe loss of life. Most of the people were caught sleeping, in the early hours of the morning.
Sofyan Yusufi, Washington, D.C
I live sector F10 of Islamabad and also awoke to the house shaking and ran outside quickly and saw all my neighbours were also outside their houses and later I heard that Margalla towers had fallen or "split in half" and went to go see what exactly had happened, and it was devastating.
Yoseph Shah, Islamabad, Pakistan
It has been more then nine hours but I can still feel the tremors inside my head. This fear would certainly linger on in the minds of millions of people. Let's all hope and pray that people inside the debris remain safe and sound and the affected ones in the remote areas are saved as soon as possible.
Noshin Masud, Islamabad, Pakistan
I was sleeping at the time when the severe quakes shook the earth. I was awakened by friend and felt the shakes; I thought the building around my house were collapsing and didn't understand why. May Allah take care of all of us.
Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, Lahore, Pakistan
Although Sargodha is more than 280km from Islamabad but we felt the fury of this horrifying earth quake. We felt the first jolt at quarter to nine in the morning. All of us ran out of our houses. Everything was swaying and shuddering badly. According to the locals they have never seen anything like it. There were terrible jolts and many after shocks, but no serious casualties have been reported.
Shan, Sargodha, Pakistan
My Brother and sister died in south Asian quake I request All NGO and world Leaders to help Pakistani people.
Aamir Ansari, Karachi, Pakistan
I and my family live on the 10th floor of a 25-story high condominium in the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, home to India's famous call centres. The building swayed like a tree in the storm and hundreds of families who live here took the stairs to come down to the park below. Apparently some cracks have developed in the buildings. I have never experienced such a long and severe tremor before. Fortunately none was hurt, but the panic will persist for days to come.
Subhamoy Das, Gurgaon, India
This is awful. After nightfall a storm has started over Islamabad, and I fear for so many lives that could be saved but can't because of the heavy downpour about to hit. I feel so useless. I can only pray for them.
Sarah Moody, Islamabad, Pakistan,
Apart from mild tremors, nothing major occurred near Delhi where my family lives. Though it was strong, the impact has been minimal in India. There have been enough signs over the last year to suggest a very big one is on its way and India must be prepared for it or else the impact will be too tragic.
Arjun Arunachalam, USA
My family lives in Abbottabad one of the worst hit areas and according to my brother, who is a doctor, he has not seen anything like that in his life. The Medical plazas (which house medical stores and different student cafes) in front of the Ayub Medical Complex are razed to the ground. It's a calamity on a scale never heard or seen before.
Aqib Jahangir, St. Cloud US
I was at the scene in the afternoon. It really hurt to see people criticizing the relief effort on the site itself. How demoralizing for the rescue workers. "NOW" is not the time people! Let's make ourselves useful! Let us all focus upon saving precious lives at this point of time instead of having useless discussions.
Sheeraz Saadat, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
My step-brother has been in India filming a movie for the past few months now. Right now we are not sure where he is as we can not get a hold of him. I am very concerned and pray he is okay. I just hope to hear from him soon.
Brittany, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
I was completing my assignment in the University Lab, when I felt computers start trembling so much, and the roof starts shaking. Our lab is in the basement, and crackling of windows started. I came out of the class on the surface. I saw our campus building waving like someone pushing it from both sides. Thank God nothing happened all!
Saad Munir, Lahore, Pakistan
Due to less in contact with world news because of "Ramadan" I came to know about it late in the evening. Then we called our Aunt and cousins in Rawalpindi but for long they were not picking up their mobiles or phones. That gave us a shiver down our spines as they always pick at the first few bells. Later in the night we came to know that as they were in mosque for prayers so were not picking the home/shop phone and their mobiles were turned off. Their call really gave us a relief else I was taking the first flight to Rawalpindi.
Sadiq Ali Bohra, Hyderabad, Pakistan
I was sitting in my garden in bright sunshine when I felt I am shaking the chair but the chair continued to sway and little later more violently. It was then I realised it was an earth quake. I expected it to finish in 10 to 20 seconds - the usual time an earth quake takes. But the quaking not only continued for seemingly very long time but became more intense.
I am not a witness to any damage to life or material in Peshawar except the usual report of a masonry wall collapsing here or there. But after some time more serious and tragic news started to arrive. A column of one 10 story building, Margala Tower collapsed in Islamabad. It was reported that 57 persons were taken out of whom seven expired. In Azad Kashmir things were more tragic. A large number of houses and public buildings collapsed in Muaffarabad, Rawlakot, Bagh and many villages trapping, wounding and killing people. 40 to 50 percent houses in Mansehra (Hazara) are destroyed as well as entire town of Oghi, further north from Mansehra. A relation and her mother were trapped inside the building in Islamabad. No news about them yet is available.
Tariq Mahmood, Peshawar, Pakistan
My mother-in-law is still trapped in the collapsed building in Islamabad. We saw the news on the BBC and my two boys recognized the building because we visited Pakistan last year.
All of us are devastated, and my wife has already left for Pakistan It will take her 36 hours to reach Islamabad. We are glued to TV watching BBC. Please keep giving the coverage. Thank you.
Pirzada, St. John's, Canada
This morning I had a big scare. I had just kept my fast when I got a message from a friend informing me of a big earthquake in Islamabad and that 2 buildings (Margalla Towers) minutes away from my house (where my parents live) had collapsed. Understandably I was very nervous. Frantic calls to Pakistan were not getting through, however thankfully I called my sister in Germany who had talked to my parents and later I was able to talk to my parents myself. They told me that the shaking was so violent that they could not stand up and sat down... Thanks to Allah that nothing happened and my parents are okay. So is my house and all utilities are working. Though the aftershocks are continuing and even when I was talking to my mom she told me that she could feel the earth moving every few minutes.
Hammad Din, Waterloo, Canada
I usually am not scared of dying, but today I could sense it and felt terrified. I live in Srinager. At 9.25am our house starting shaking like a cradle, believe me. My mum was terrified and we all ran out of our house. There was chaos in neighbourhood, a child was hit on head by a brick and he died later. I somehow mustered the courage to go to my hospital. My ward had developed cracks, and my patients were all outside the building and refused to go back. They all wanted to be discharged, which we did. I, in spite of putting a brave face, can still feel by legs shaking. We still feel the aftershocks and every time people come running out.
Dr Shazy, Srinager, Kashmir, India
Hell broke loose this morning in Kashmir. It was the worst nightmare of all. I don't even want to think about what happened. I wish it never happened. Everything was destroyed. Houses, school buildings even hospitals had to face damages. My houses boundary walls fell like matchboxes. It was terrifying I thank god that me and my family are safe.
Dr BA Zargar, Srinagar, India
This morning when this horrible event took place, I was at my university in my class that is on second floor. This is the worst experience I have ever had. I have never experienced death from such a close view. I was pretty sure our campus building was going to collapse. I could do was to hold my friend's hand tightly and recite Allah's name quietly. Almost everybody was weeping around. After sometime the campus was evacuated. On our way back home, I had to pass the Margala towers that are on a five minutes drive from my home. The sight was horrible, it had collapsed. Islamabad is a calm and serene city, I have never seen such an emergency situation. Every single street experienced traffic jams. We're still on emergency warning and it is predicted that jolts are expected tonight and we'll stay in this fright for another 48 hours. May God save us all
It started as a normal earthquake but took speed I was sleeping at that time it was horrible. I was asleep and I thought I was dreaming. With a jolt I woke up and after a couple of minutes I realized it wasn't a dream. Generally, we don't feel tremors in our house, its foundation is very strong. But this one shook my whole body and with my mum and sister, I rushed downstairs. However, our misery is none as compared to the ones in Azad Kashmir. My friend's sister's house has demolished and a huge rock just stopped in front of her. She is right now in a tent, under heavy shower, extreme cold, no food and absolutely no water. And what's more, since my dad is in the army, all his colleagues in Rawalakot and Muzaffarabad are in a terrible misery. A friend lost his four sons and one of his old pals is still under the debris along with his wife. What relief could the doctors in Kashmir can provide, their own families have lost their lives. We can't imagine anything like this might've happened before, it's simply devastating. I still feel so scared. May Allah help us.
Zahra Asif Sukhera, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
I'm a student of IBMS in Peshawar. In the morning we were attending the class. Suddenly some boys cried earthquake, earthquake. Then we ran from our class. We saw that all students were standing in the lawn of the University. Every one was sad. After that it continued. Everyone is here in a terrible situation. Even tonight most of the people are not sleeping inside bed rooms. This time I'm in front of a computer but I'm feeling a kind of fear.
Muhammad Naeem, Peshawar, Pakistan
When the quake hit, I was asleep. Then I awoke with the rattling of my bed and windows. The whole thing was shaking violently. I rushed to my mum's room and she was coming out with my younger sister. My brother was in Islamabad and we were really worried about him. But he was okay. Had it persisted for a few more minutes, we'd surely be dead. Thanks to Allah that He saved us. My appeal to all the Muslims around the world is to help us, especially the Kashmiris. Their lives are in terrible danger and the catastrophe has affected them worst. My sympathies to all the victims of this terrible incident. May Allah keep us in safety and protection.
Zahra Asif, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
My family lives in E-7, Islamabad and I was on the phone as soon as I heard about the earthquake. I was probably one of the few who was able to get through on the telephone. They were all well but very shaken. They told me how the chandeliers shook, pictures were moving all over the walls and everyone ran out of the house. No major damage but of course our hearts go out to the thousands who are at the mercy of Mother Nature and God Almighty tonight. It is heartbreaking to see people digging away with their bare hands trying to save those trapped under the apartment block. God help!
Asma Chaudhry, Oslo, Norway
What worse could happen to one of the badly hit areas north of Abbottabad and Abbottabad itself, after having heavy human casualties, damages to houses and other buildings, and loss of electricity, now the area is facing after shocks with strong winds, heavy rains and hail. Nearly a thousand or more patients were lying outside the damaged Ayub Medical Complex building without shelter, awaiting treatment at this hour of the night in dark now and it started to rain heavily with hail. It's just unimaginable all what is happening, no one could ever expect such a huge disaster.
Dr Irfan Noor, Pakistan
We were all asleep when I heard my sister scream 'earthquake'! That's when we all ran out barefoot where we could feel it for about six minutes. The cars were shaking and I actually saw the house swaying. All the neighbours were out in their gardens. It was really very, very terrifying. We can still feel the forceful aftershocks which make us run out again. It's scary just like the movies. I never thought such things were real.
Salema Jafri, Islamabad, Pakistan
At the time of the earthquake I was in my university, my teacher was about to start the lecture when everything started shaking violently I didn't know what to do there was panic everywhere. I made it out of the building but can still feel my self shaking from the efforts of running, this indeed is the worst earthquake I have ever experienced.
Raja Taimur, Hattar Pakistan
The most unusual and truly the most horrifying experience of my life the walls of my house were moving so violently that I was sure that they would collapse any moment but fortunately they didn't, it was terrifying, every one shrieking and running out of their homes and then the tragedy of the building that collapsed. But I'm happy with the way government and people of Pakistan responded to this disaster. I, with millions of other Pakistanis, am looking forward to help those affected by this natural disaster, we can not bring the lives of those who were the victim of this quake but we are certainly looking forward to help those who suffered.
Mariam, Islamabad, Pakistan
I was in school the table started to shake and the roof fan came off and hit the board. We all started to run. Our teachers started crying and the toilet wall collapsed and no injuries heard. The magnitude was so high that it made us fall.
Hassan, Peshawar, Pakistan
We were taking our lecture in dental college when the earth started shaking. We waited for some seconds expecting the shaking to stop but it didn't and finally we had to evacuate the building. I wasn't aware that it was such a bad jolt until I received a call from my home asking me about my well being. Later we came to know that many buildings in the vicinity of my college collapsed and we heard many ambulances rushing to the sites. It was certainly the worst earth quake I have experiences.
Sehrish Javaid, Lahore, Pakistan
When I was offering my Fajar prayer, heard slight tremor. Thought it was just imagination or a dream. However, the earth quake displayed rapid movement. It was then confirmed earth quake was taking place. Never, in my life saw such traumatic earth quake. When I asked from people in Margala towers, they confirmed death toll could even go above 100. It made me feel sympathetic towards them. Even damage to building was reported in blue area. Even many people in F-10 left their houses in case severe tremor took place. It kept happening after 4 hours. Even government hospitals the patients of earthquake victim continued to rise. There several casualty cases reported. It was such a traumatic experience that anyone could have ever imagined. Even me and my family members were horrified.
Ali Vaqar, Islamabadad ,Pakistan
I have family and in-laws that live in Mirpur Azad Kashmir. My husband was able to get in contact with his sister, and she says that it is hell there, and that they all are very scared. She said that from the first quake they were cracks in the ceiling and in the walls. Water was coming out from the water tanks. He hasn't been able to get in touch with his parents, who went to Jhelum to visit family. But we hope they all will be fine. May Allah be with them.
Sabrina, New York, USA
I live a mile away from the collapsed building. The earthquake which was very severe in intensity and seemed never ending shook our house and when I was running outside, I could hear the picture frames falling. The roar was frightening. I visited the site of the collapsed building after half an hour of the earthquake. I saw a child under 10 who was stranded between the stairs and people were pulling him from the stairs of the adjacent building. He was rescued alive but in injured condition. It's sad that there were no emergency equipment available for clearing the debris. People did the rescue with bare hands. It's a pity that the capital did not have the basic emergency equipment. We spend billions on defence, why cant we spend a little on preparation for such disasters.
Gulmina Khan, Islamabad, Pakistan