It was extremely shocking and traumatic as what happened on the morning of October 08, 2005: an earthquake befell as a cataclysmic event in Pakistan’s history to be remembered for a very long to come. So many people were still asleep when suddenly they were jolted awake. All at once they began screaming from houses and apartment blocks, confounded and staggering as repeated quakes of 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked the earth. It was Saturday, just before 9 a.m. By the time people came to their senses, the phone network was totally jammed. The sweep of death and destruction across a vast swathe of territory from Kashmir to Hazara, Swat and Islamabad was heart-rending. The most powerful quake to hit the region in 100 years killed thousand of people and caused massive destruction in northern Pakistan and areas close to its epicenter, which was in Azad Kashmir some 95 Kilometers northeast of the federal capital.
The collapse of a 10-storey apartment complex in Islamabad gripped the entire nation, as thousands of people rushed to the scene to rescue those trapped in the rubble. While the country was still reeling from the tragedy in Islamabad, another rude awakening was just around the corner. With news slowly trickling down from different areas, soon the news spread that Azad Kashmir had been the worst hit, followed by NWFP, next to the Afghan border. The next day brought terrible pain and anguish to yet more many people of Azad Kashmir who had gone to work in the big cities but returned to their home villages to find them razed to the ground.
The devastating earthquake hit the residents of Azad Kashmir in many ways. Unlike Muzzafarabad and Bagh districts, the disaster had stolen shelter virtually from every single inhabitant of Rawalakot. Rawalakot seemed to wear the look of a devastated place. However, the destruction was not as dramatic and anguishing as it was in Muzaffarabad. The