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“It was like an encounter with death when you imagine yourself getting buried”

The 7.7 magnitude earthquake that shook the parts of South Asia on Monday afternoon, killing more than 300 people, was strongly felt in Indian-administered Kashmir, killing two women there. Other people who were affected by the earthquake shared their experiences with RIFAT MOHIDIN.

Bashir AhmadBashir Ahmad, 45, security supervisor
I am a security guard in a shopping mall in Srinagar. Monday afternoon was terrible; initially I observed something moving beneath my feet. I was standing near the gate of the mall. I saw people coming out of shops and there was panic all over, I stood near the gate and helped people to go out. Everyone rushed out of the shops and the food outlets. People left everything behind to run for safety, it was a horrible scene. Being the security guard, the first thing I had in mind before saving myself was to save other people. I wanted to perform my job as well. But thankfully people were safe.

Manzoor AhmadManzoor Ahmad, 38, shopkeeper
When the tremors shook me, I firstly felt it was a normal earthquake with low intensity, but when I saw things from the shelves of my shop falling over my head, I ran for safety on the main road, I saw people crying all around me. I thought it was the last day of life. The floods in September last year brought huge losses to us but there was no loss of life; but on Monday, I got a feeling that it was an end to us as well.

Yuaish QureshiYuaish Qureshi, 25, Student
I was at my home in Srinagar. I was about to leave the place when I noticed the fan swinging back and forth. I immediately went inside to alarm my family and take them to a safe place. The next moment we were all in our garden where we saw our house shaking; the car parked near the garden was moving.


Saba BhatSaba Bhat, 23, economics student

We were having a lecture in our class when we observed the tremors which kept growing stronger. Our class is located on the third floor of the university so it was a horrible experience, we all rushed towards the ground floor slowly, and the corridors were reverberating with the sound of people invoking God. Some students got hurt due to a stampede. It all continued for minutes together, the jolts were very strong. While we were coming out it seemed like the building was about to collapse. I am yet to come out of the shock. It was like an encounter with death when you imagine yourself getting buried.

Muhammad MaqboolMuhammad Maqbool, 44, hawker
I saw my cart moving without any force, the things from my cart starting falling and I saw people moving towards the road to save themselves. I know one thing; nothing can work above the will of  God. No one can really predict when all these things will happen.

Voxes have been edited for clarity and brevity. 

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