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

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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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