EarthQuake Report

I just got back to Karachi after spending two weeks filming in Balakot.

Balakot is a small town in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, about 60 miles north of Islamabad. Located near the quake’s epicenter, it is said to be among the worst devastated.

We visited a few small villages up in the mountains around Balakot, and everywhere we went it was the same story. The people in these areas depend on subsistence farming and their livestock for survival. A large number of the livestock has been killed, and the remaining is without any sort of shelter.

Many people too are still without tents. Some have provided makeshift shelters for their animals under cloth or plastic sheets. They urgently require proper shelter both for themselves and their livestock. Without shelter their livestock will not survive the harsh winter and many will lose their only source of income. The animals also require veterinary care to prevent malnutrition and disease outbreaks.

Although tent villages have been established in the towns, the majority are not willing to leave their land and livestock behind to move to these camps.

At this time of the year, the yearly migration of people and their animals is also taking place from the mountains to the plains. On the main road from Kaghan/Naran to Mansera, we saw many families on the move; some due to the earthquake. An average herd would consist of a few donkeys, cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep and a dog or two. Baby goats and lambs born on the move are often carried on donkey’s backs, or carried by the people in their arms. Pregnant animals get no rest, neither are they able to receive any veterinary care along the way. It

is survival of the fittest for all.

At night also they are on the move in the pitch dark. Sometimes they stop by the side of the highway for a little rest. If they are near a town, they burn the discarded relief clothes by the roadside for warmth. Shepherds often collect the sweaters and shirts and put them on their goats. A lot of the goats we saw were constantly coughing. According to the shepherds, they tend to die soon after. These people too are facing a crisis as the price of their animals has fallen drastically, and they do not know how they will survive.

The international animal welfare community needs to be urgently mobilized to provide assistance to the animals in the affected areas. Apart from WSPA ( and the Brooke Hospital for Animals (, there are no other animal welfare organizations that I am aware of who are providing disaster relief to the animals.

Food is available for both people and animals in most places. Providing shelter for all ought to be a priority at this point.

We need to take action now before the severe winter weather sets in by the end of November. Already, it has started snowing in some areas. What is needed is an urgent assessment of the affected areas, and community shelters for the livestock in villages up in the mountains. More mobile veterinary teams need to be sent out to the remote villages, and most importantly, the local Pakistani veterinary community needs to be encouraged to play their role in the disaster relief efforts.

We hope you can help in sending out alerts to the international community to take action before it’s too late.


Mahera Omar


For more information, please take a look at these websites:

  • ‘WSPA Earthquake relief’:
  • ‘Sunday Herald’:
  • ‘Videos: Geo Television, Pakistan’:

3 thoughts on “EarthQuake Report”

  1. Hiya. omg I was so sad. I was crying. About the earthquake. I wish you luck on finding donations. I will try to donate if I can I don’t know if theres an age limit on it. But I will




    Esha Batool a 6 year old nursery student. As I scribbled her name on my notepad, she promptly corrected: “it starts with an E…not I”. Her astuteness amused and impressed me as she answered my questions sharply. Esha lives in a tent with her parents in a nearby village, along with one sister and brother. Her mother is a house wife and father works in a government department. Esha lost her best friend Komal in the earthquake tragedy, Komal’s house collapsed; Esha misses her terribly. When asked what she aspires to become after completing her studies, she swiftly and confidently responded: “I want to be a Pilot to fly helicopter”.

    Six year old Mohsin Khan told me: “I was in the school when the earthquake started; I ran out of the building with the other children and I survived”. “Mariam and Maria my class fellows died, they were really nice and good class fellows. My school is totally damaged and there is nothing left. I live with my parents in a tent which is not comfortable and in the night it’s extremely cold. I had two sisters and 3 brothers, one of my sisters and a brother died along with two of my uncles, grandmother and a builder who was working in our house at the time when the earthquake happened. I really miss my brother and sister”. Mohsin wants to become a doctor when he is older.

    Esha and Mohsin attended the same school, but since the school building has been reduced to rubble, the children have no place left to go for study. In addition to suffering from the loss of their homes and loved one’s, thousands of children like Esha and Mohsin are also left without any suitable facilities to continue their education. In light of this situation, Islamic Relief provided tents for makeshift schools to be set up in Muzaffarabad. Parents and children may have found some temporary relief in these makeshift schools, but as Esha and Mohsin describe, ‘this tent school is nice but its cold when it rains and not feasible to study as its muddy everywhere. We do not even have any play ground here’.


  3. I have returned a month ago from Kashmir where I was working for three months on a Reconstruction Project in Bagh. The situation is still not so good about shelters and houses, as the government authorities are too slow in providing technical aid and guidelines. As far as I feel it would have been faster if there had been no involvement from Non Government and Government agencies both. All this involvement is leading to delays and it is almost a year now and construction will be completely impossible in two months from now, even currently it is not easy to do any sort of construction activity as the monsoon has hit very hard. For the month of June a lot of times we had to stop work on site because of heavy rain. I hope the authorities will soon realize what is going wrong….

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