The North Face team just updated after experiencing the strongest aftershock since the October 8th quake struck Pakistan and Kashmir:
Like being on a boat in high seas
Around three this morning, I awoke with a start, reports Cedar Wright. The ground was shaking, and I immediately knew we were experiencing an aftershock. The experience was much like being on boat in high seas, and I waited nervously for the intensity to grow. It was with great relief that less than a minute later the tremor subsided, and I slipped back into a restless sleep unsure it the experience had been but a vivid dream. As it turns out, the aftershock was one of the largest since the quake. In some areas rock falls were triggered.
Awake to pain
Today we toured Seemari, Truthihaji, Phagwan, and Khadhama, where we witnessed along the way some of the most dramatic destruction so far. Some of the worst hit houses were barely recognizable as houses at all. The lucky ones crawled out from under the rubble, but many children were buried, and the sense of desperation and pain in the area was palpable.
One child that we encountered had suffered a broken femur when his house collapsed on top of him. Tragically the bone had not set properly, which if it is not addressed soon, could leave the child crippled for life. We have put a plan in motion to move the child to Srinagar, where the leg can be re-broken, and then set correctly. Each day brings its trials and rewards, but undoubtedly my experience in Kashmir will never be forgotten.
Since the October 8th, 7.6 earthquake, which caused circa 73,000 dead and left 3 million people homeless, the region has been struck by hundreds of aftershocks. However, none have been as strong as yesterdays. The 6.7 tremor was centered about 105km (65 miles) southeast of Faizabad in Afghanistan's Badakhshan province.
This area stretching across Pakistan into India and Afghanistan sees a lot of seismic activity - it is at the point where the tectonic plates of Asia and Indian subcontinent collide.
The North Face collected about 5 tons of gear while GlobalGiving connected the team to credible organizations on the ground in Kashmir who will help distribute the goods. Monetary donations are still much needed - and they will be matched 100%!
"Thanks to an anonymous donor, all donations to Kashmir relief and rebuilding projects will be matched 100% until January 6, 2005 or until the $10,000 fund runs out," reported TNF. "To encourage many people to give, we are capping the match amount to $500."
TNF has also set up a four member team of sponsored athletes led by Willie Benegas, that includes Renan Ozturk, Cedar Wright and Patrick Kenny, to travel to the Kashmir region in order to survey damage, assess avalanche danger to relief camps, and deliver gear to the hardest hit villages. Benegas, a member of The North Face athlete team for 7 years, has frequented this region since 1993.
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