Reminding the shock of October 2005 earthquake, massive tremors rocked the state in which two elderly women died of cardiac arrest in Kashmir and 15 others injured across the Valley and several residential houses and other infrastructure was also damaged. While the 7.7 magnitude quake struck during office hours, panicked people rushed down on roads and parks from their offices and buildings. People could be seen running helter skelter and traffic on roads remained paralysed. Electricity, phone lines and internet services were snapped which remained suspended for hours together before these services were restored. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon confirmed to KNS that two old women and a boy have died due to cardiac arrest in Anantnag, Baramulla and Reasi districts. Samoon identified the tow deceased as 65-year-old woman, Zona Begum wife of Ghulam Ahmad Najar of Mir Sahib in Old Town, Baramulla, and 80-year old Fatima Begum wife of Abdul Rashid Dandh of Ahanger Mohalla, Bijbehara. He said a boy named Mohd Ashraf was cutting grass at Batho village in Reasi district on a hillock at the time of the quake. The boy had slipped and hit a rock, which resulted his instantaneous death, said the Div Com. The epicenter of the massive earthquake has been reported in Hindukush Mountains in Afghanistan, and its jolts were felt in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Two army personnel were also injured when their bunker collapsed following huge jolts in Sopore in Baramulla district. According to KNS correspondent, the bunker collapsed inside Ganjoo house, where an army unit is camping, resulting in injuries to two soldiers. The two injured soldiers were taken to a hospital. As per KNS correspondent from Anantnag, a man identified as Adil Gulzar son of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat of Khiramm, Anantnag, was injured after he jumped out of his two-storey residential house due to fear of the tremors. The divisional commissioner said that eight residential houses and a health centre were also damaged due to tremors of the quake. The said two-story residential hosue of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Samad Bhat collapsed at Kreeri in Shangus. Residential house of Javaid Ahmad Bhat at Matipora, Chitragul was damaged in Sanhgus, house of Ghulam Nabi Najar at Nepora, house of Kalender Khan at Satri Maiden in Mattan, house of Mir Zaman at Mir Maidan, Raklh Brah and residential hosue of Mohamamd Akbar Rather at Vaibamdoora also were damaged. The health sub centre at Fatehpora in the district was also damaged. In north Kashmir, old residential hosue of Ghulam Ahmad Gojri of Wanigaam Payeen in Pattan was damaged after its one brick wall collapsed. A load carrier vehicle bearing number JK05B 6656 was damaged after a Chinar tree fell on it. In Sheri area main road developed cracks at some palces, SRTC Bridge at Iqbal market in Old Town Baramulla was also further damaged. According to KNS correspondent from Karnah, five residential houses were completely damaged, while 40 per cent of the houses developed minor cracks. Two residential houses belonging to Khursheed Ahamd and Ghulam Rasool Check were completely collapsed in Khudparre in Tangdhar, while one residential house in Teetwal and two other houses were severely damaged in Gabra area of the frontier district. Meanwhile, the Civil Secretariat was also closed after some women collapsed in their officers. Srinagar’s only Flyover was closed for traffic for some hours as a part iof its developed some cracks. Budshah Bridge also developed a minor crack, creating panic among people. However, authorizes said that both the bridges are safe for the movement of traffic. Today’s earthquake was a grim reminder of the 2005 earthquake which had created huge destruction and damage of the physical infrastructure besides loss of lives in the entire J&K particularly in the areas close to Line of Control. The death toll in Jammu and Kashmir in 2005 quake was more than a hundred but in Pakistan administered Kashmir, which was the epicenter of 2005 quake, the death toll was in thousands. Further reports about loss of lives and damage to physical infrastructure are awaited.
2015 Kashmir Despatch