SADIQABAD - On the occasion of National Disaster Awareness Day, the Punjab Emergency Service or Rescue 1122 took out a walk to remember October 8 earthquake victims here in Rahim Yar Khan. The walk started from Sadiqabad Bazaar and culminated at the school bazaar bridge. It was participated by all the district level rescuers along with ambulance, fire and recovery vehicles. Addressing the participants, 1122 District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Sattar Babar highlighted the importance of the day. He said, "The earthquake of October 8, 2005 destroyed thousands of houses while numerous people lost their loved ones. It affected Occupied and Azad Jammu and Kashmirs, Abadabad, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. About 100,000 people lost their lives in the natural catastrophe." As soon as the people heard the sad news about the catastrophe, they rushed to the affected area but they did not know how to rescue the victims. In one way or the other, they rescued the affected people with critically injured or damaged body parts, he added. The earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale, having an epicentre in the northeast district of Muzaffarabad and affecting an area of over 21,000 square kilometres in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Azad Kashmir, struck Pakistan on at 8:50am. By November 1, 2005, there were approximately 58,000 casualties, 79,000 injured and over 3 million homeless; as well, thousands of survivors remained in isolated mountainous areas. Neelum and Jehlum Valleys were the most affected areas, while the populations most affected were those in Muzaffarabad, Bala Kot, Athmuqam, Hattian, Dhir Kot, Bagh, Haveli and Abbaspur districts. Lesser-affected areas included Alpuri, Chakisar, Puran, Martoong, Bisham, Allai, Batagram, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Fr. Kala Dhaka, Hajira, Rawalkot, and Oghi districts. The United Nations estimated that approximately 100,000 people moved into lower areas and major towns of Mansehra district from northern valleys as conditions there deteriorate. Moreover, the crossing between Pakistani and Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir was opened to let aid through, but Pakistanis trying to pass the Line of Control were driven back by Pakistani police firing tear gas. A UN report commented that "severely depleted human resources pose huge challenges for mobilization of government support "in protection activities". By 1 November 2005, an estimated seventy per cent of health infrastructure had been destroyed in affected areas. According to the UN, out of 564 health facilities, 291 were destroyed and 74 were damaged. Another report stated that 800 hospitals had been destroyed, but the exact locations were not mentioned. In NWFP, the earthquake affected 275 health centres; as well, hospitals in Battagram and Mansehra were completely destroyed.