Eyewitness view of the Pakistan earthquake disaster - ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE OCCURS!
December 28, 2005 - 2:06am (Pakistan Time) Wednesday - Lahore, Pakistan - Report submitted by Joe Hurston
Before daybreak, on Christmas morning, the driver, in a new Toyota Land Cruiser provided by the Interior Minister of Pakistan came to get Dr. Shaikh and I. We headed straight for Mansehra, the town that we deployed Vortex Voyagers TM in on our last mission. Traffic was light and we arrived in just under three hours. We found the Communications officer, Taimur hard at work. He had already assisted in loading three trucks of relief supplies that morning. We received a good report on the 4 Vortex Voyagers TM that we had deployed in that zone. Taimur agreed to accompany us today.
We searched the map for the Machiari Valley where the widow named Mariyam lived. No one had heard of the valley, or the little hamlet of Duliard. Regretfully, we were unable to go check on the village (refer to the December 24, 2005 report for Maryiam's story).
We decided to go to the city of Balakot. The population of Balakot before the earthquake was 300,000. The entire region was flattened by the October 8, 2005 earthquake. We can testify to that! Long before entering the Balakot Valley, we saw tent cities EVERYWHERE! We stopped and visited a few along the way. We found relative order and evidence of adequate supplies and water in the tent cities along the main-route. PLEASE NOTE, there are thousands of small, unaccounted for tent-cities far off the beaten path!
Dr. Shaikh carefully looked for evidence of disease and physical problems in these tent-cities along the main road and was pleased to announce that things acutally looked pretty good. I felt particularly fortunate to be traveling with the former Minister of Health (Surgeon General) for Pakistan. In one tent-city, an old gentleman fell and Dr. Shaikh cleaned and cared for his wound.
While visiting another tent city and video taping the drilling of a water well, we felt the earth moving under out feet. It was a 5.2 earthquake centered very close to where we were standing. A vivid reminder that the quakes are not finished.
As we approached Balakot, we were absolutely astounded by the sheer force of the 7.6 earthquake. We saw gigantic sections of the snow peaked mountains ripped open and spilling out huge rock slides. I can only imagine what that morning must have been like. Every single structure that we passed had damage and most were completely flattened.
People were busy, small markets were set up, supply lines were steady. Nearly everywhere we stopped, children ran up to us, so often with huge smiles and exuberance. Those moments, in the presence of the children, softened the stark blow of reality of the broken lives and shattered dreams all around us.
Our trek stopped at what was a very prominent hotel that absolutely came down to where the large concrete roof lay on the pile of rubble. No one survived inside that hotel. We stood and scanned what was the panaramic view of the hotel with sober and sad thoughts of so much suffering. We prayed and asked the Lord to show mercy and grace to the survivors! We also asked Him anew to use us to help here!!
The sun was beginning to set and the temperature was dropping. We began our long journey back to Islamabad. We did not talk a lot on the way back. It was a Christmas day I will never forget.
After the completion of the mission to Balakot, we had follow-up meetings in both Islamabad and Lahore. Everyone we spoke with expressed the same desperate need for clean water throughout Pakistan, particularly in the earthquake regions. Likewise, everyone agreed that the Vortex Voyager TM would truly meet those needs. The major obstacle is funding. We pray for our Lord to help us with this! Please pray with us to have the wisdom and direction.
My last meeting in Pakistan was an interview by the "Nation", a national newspaper of Pakistan. The Reporter did an excellent of job of hearing all about our mission and asked some very good questions. I was able to explain what we saw and express the deep need for 1000 Vortex Voyagers TM IMMEDIATELY! Simply put, those 1000 Vortex Voyagers TM would provide very pure drinking water to 500,000 Pakistani earthquake victims PER DAY in 1000 DIFFERENT LOCATIONS! I pray that the appropriate authorities and donors will "capture this vision" as many lives will be saved as a result of this!
I will be boarding a plane for the long grueling flight home in a few hours. Will write a follow up report once back in the states. God Bless and THANK YOU for you prayer, love and support!
President - Air Mobile
PS - Please continue reading the reports below to see how this journey has been unfolding. The next report gives a story of "Divine Delays". Please read on! God Bless You and thanks for taking to time to read this report. Joe