Journeying for miles on foot, desperate survivors from high-altitude villages streamed into major towns where Pakistani, American, Afghan and United Nations helicopters landed on makeshift helipads to evacuate the injured. All told, there were 40 helicopters on duty Wednesday, but with more than 52,000 injured, they appeared to come nowhere near meeting the need for evacuations....
A man named Jahanzeb said he had walked for a whole day to reach Balakot from Sangar; at least 50 people, he said, were badly injured there and unable to travel. He knew of four who had died of their injuries, after being pulled from the rubble. The villagers built a makeshift helicopter pad on Monday, he said, but the army had not yet arrived.
Jehangir Khan, an old man with a white beard, said he had carried his injured daughter, Saira, down from their village, Bhumara, on a stretcher and waited three days to get her on a helicopter. On Wednesday, Saira, a slight girl of perhaps 15 - she did not know her age - lay on a stretcher under cotton quilts. Her leg was broken, she was bleeding and she felt pain in her abdomen, she said. By day's end, she was loaded onto an American Chinook helicopter along with 28 of the most seriously wounded here. Her brother, also injured, was not allowed on. Her sister, Zaheda, had died in the quake.
October 13, 2005
Unbearably sad descriptions of the suffering after the earthquake. A million people are homeless, cold, and hungry. Many persons with broken bones and other serious injuries are stranded in places far from the hope of medical care.