Its been a very sad and tragic week for my country. Most of you must know about the terrible earthquake - the worst in its history - that hit Pakistan on the morning of October 8, 2005. The magnitude of the quake was measured at 7.6 on the richter scale and it was centered 60 miles north of the capital city of Islamabad (which is also my hometown). While most of Islamabad survived the scare, the northern parts of the country weren't so lucky. The cities of Muzaffarabad and Balakot were completely grounded within seconds of the earthquake. The infrastructure was damaged so badly that these cities were completely cut off from the rest of the country, making it impossible for help to get there. The death toll so far is 24000 and is expected to rise to about 35000. There are more than 60000 injured and millions who are homeless and in the open. Those who survived are in dire need of food and shelter. Relief work is on going and will take months, even years to complete. There are a number of organizations that are participating in the relief efforts and they need support from all over the world to carry on this daunting task. Here are links to a few organizations through which you can help with the relief effort. This is a very poor part of the country, so anything you give will be of extreme importance.
Islamic Relief : https://www.irw.org/donate/
Edhi Foundation & President of Pakistan Earthquake Relief : http://developpakistan.org/Default.aspx?tabid=149 (goes through PayPal)
These organizations are eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, so if your employers have a matching program, you can even get these charities matched.
Updated on October 13, 2005 @ 1630hrs: The deathtoll has gone up past 40,000 and an estimated 4 million ppl have been left homeless. 147 aftershocks were registered after the initial quake. One of which measured of 6.2. Another 21 occurred with a magnitude greater than 5. Cold weather and snow is making life even tougher than it already is. PLEASE HELP!!! I am adding a link to Microsoft's earthquake donations page for those who wish to get a bigger list of relief agencies.