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Mission # 2  Chanar Kot

EARTHQUAKE- Pakistan (0ctober 8,  2005)

Mission # 2   Chanar Kot
               CHANAR KOT - Relief & Rescue Operation (Earthquake Oct 2005) 
Mission Date
:     23 October-05  to 28 October  05
Area:                  Channar Kot, Davli (Border line area ofdistrict Manshera and Batgram, Pakistan)
Route:                 Lahore-Rawalpindi-abbotabad-Manshera-Shinkiari-Nawazabad-Jabar-Chanar Kot - Davli
The Team:          Dr. Maqsood, Dr. Khurram, Dr.Samana, Dr. Hammad, Eddie, Razor,  Jimmy, Bravo, Shahzad, Shanni Power, Zeeshan, Nomi, Cobra & 2Tango

Relief camp-Johar Town Lahore

Volunteers from Intech loading the truck with medicines

Working together at relief camp-Lahore

Once Upon a Time House  

It was Sunday October 23, 2005, when once again we were busy loading our trucks with tents, sheets, medicines, hospital setup, quilts, milk, flour, warm clothes, water etc. and our 24 seat van with team equipment, i.e. personal tents, personal food, rescue equipment, generators, etc. 

Our journey took not more than 12 hours to reach, as we had to meet Army official Brig. Aziz at Junior Leaders Academy at Shinkiari Valley, which is close to Manshera. Here we saw the chaos and confusion among people standing on roads waiting for their turn to be handed over “just” LIFE.

Brigadier Aziz explained the current scenario and showed us the affected areas on the maps. After finding out that we had a proper setup of field hospital, a team of doctors, hikers, paramedics, energetic volunteers and shelter for almost 300 families, he suggested us to immediately move to the remote mountainous villages of Chanar kot and Davli , which were badly struck by the earthquake.

We were escorted to Nawazabad Army Camp by Capt. Hassan on a rough 4x4 jeep track. Again same eyes, no expression, no hope just one question………how long we (in thousands) will survive on the food and supplies you brought…?

From Nawazabad we were given another security army jeep to be taken to Chanar kot  (The central & border line area between Manshera and Batgram district) where 95% of the houses were destroyed and even after 15 days no proper medical team had reached there. The area was struck by Cholera, Pneumonia and gangrenous wounds after the earthquake.

We were received by Capt. Imran and his team of dedicated soldiers at Chanar Kot. While we were unloading our trucks we saw a jeep surrounded by the villagers, a woman taking her last breaths was lying in the lap of her husband along with her badly injured daughter. A French and Iranian doctor were trying their best to save her life. We were told that in the afternoon the UN helicopter even after landing in the village refused to air lift them. They were rushed to the Manshera hospital immediately through the same rough track.

By the time we unpacked, it was almost dark in the middle of a huge mountain range. We managed to fix a quick dressing room, dispensary, storage room and our personal tents before nightfall.

That night we had few patients and a lot more earth quakes / after shocks than we had heard off. Patients were suffering from acute gastroenteritis managed by our doctors by the fire side on the “Charpai”and our volunteers keeping the saline drips high up for hours and holding branulas (iv lines) in torch and lamp light. At midnight, brother of the injured woman’s came to our camp and asked for a stretcher…she could not survive. They wanted to take her dead body back to their village. We all were sad and Captain Imran was angry but no body could find out why UN helicopter refused to air lift her..? 

The next morning we had installed a proper make shift Field Hospital inside a weather proof Chinese tent, where Akbar, and Shani (recently trained paramedics in first mission in Kashmir  to more than perfect wound debridement and dressings of injured) showed their miracles to doctors. Eddie the “second in command” was efficiently taking care of all the issues and made us a camp hospital, an out door setup and proper lighting system with the help of generators. The Out Door setup was outdoor in the literal meaning of the word, the doctors and patients were under open sky, managing together around 1000 patients in four days time, rather day/night time. Having a female doctor with us was a huge advantage for us and a benefit to the community. The patients turn over was huge, mostly women and children who suffered the most. By and large it was a medical camp with four skilled doctors and medicines but not as big as the requirement was considering the magnitude of devastation.

Captain Imran’s team had visited every house in their 10 allotted villages. Signed coupons were issued to affectees according to their requirements. The villagers used to come down to our camp in the daytime to collect their supplies after showing their coupons. We still had tents, sheets, quilts, blankets, water and food supplies which seemed a lot for those who had particularly nothing to eat or drink. The fresh spring water of these mountains was contaminated by the dead cattle, which fell from the mountains.

Our mission would not have been accomplished to the fulfillment of our souls if we had not approached the patients living on top of the mountains, so we divided our doctors into two teams, each having one Guard, a guide and two trained hikers. The first team led by Dr. Maqsood along with Dr. Hammad, Shani , guard and a guide went to the northern mountain’s top where different settlements were located.

I took the other team along with Dr. Khurram, Dr.Samana, Shani butt, guard and guide to the top villages of eastern mountains i.e Davli, Phalela and Jhanairi. While climbing the mountains we were making continuous announcement on our handy mega phone speaker to drink boiled water because of Cholera, and bury the dead bodies immediately, and also requested them to come half way down to us for treatment.

Our team tried our best despite fasting, weather conditions, absolute zero hiking skills (most of them), continuous earth quakes, rumors of volcanic eruption in Alai and we being closest to it, despite bruised toe  nails, sunken eyes and the helplessness while saying “mauf karna is takleef ki dawai hamary pass nahin hay” on coming across a disease totally unpredictable for which our drug reserve was silent.

  We stayed in that area for three days. Every member of the team gave more than100%.

Almost 1000 patients were treated, shelter, food and other relief goods were handed over to hundreds of deserving families but truly speaking in such a big catastrophe our efforts seemed just like a drop in the ocean.

It was a journey like mothering that is experienced with senses, souls emotions and minds. Every eye on the way back was mustering the dream of mapping the future of the “THE ONCE UPON A TIME CHANAAR KOT”

  Here we are,….alive and with strength in our limbs and the mental capacity to think, working to a full agenda to sell hope and buy smiles in return.
What ever we have done so far we haven’t experienced failure at any point.

Our Van and supplies truck crossing  Nawazabad-Every house on the track was destroyed. and  villagers were standing on the road side for the help 

Re grouping  the convoy in the mountains. There were fair chances of loting, we had the weapons and were very careful.

Dr. Maqsood & 2Tango deciding the next plan of action with Brigadier Aziz and his team.

Colonel of Nawazabad base explaining the area on the maps to the team

Ariel View Of destroyed Davli village. Our medical camp camp can be seen in the back ground on the other side of the valley

Once upon a Time House - seeing is believing-Trying to rebuild his completely destroyed house

Destroyed houses in Chanar kot. Our relief camp can be seen at the background 

Setting up the camp.

Distributing the tents to the affectees with the help of army Jawans.

distribution camp at ChanarKot- destroyed village of Davli can be seen in the background 

Taking out warm clothes from the sacks for distribution-Villagers get together early in the morning for the relief items
villagers with the relief goods

Tents : the most badly needed item in the area -Allhamdulliah with our supplies the requirement of this area was fulfilled 

Team-B ready to hike mountains to  treat patients who were unable to come down

Dr.Max, Dr.Khurram and Dr. Samana taking care of the  patients

Razor collecting  data about the patients for the record and helping doctors by providing milk, fruit and juices to the treated patients

A couple of Serious patients under treatment in the field hospital-Shani Power and shahzad Rana proved themselves as the best care takers.

Well Done Team:This patients came at night with no pulse-Our doctors and paramedics tried thier best for 2 days Alhamdulliah he survived and went back home own his feet.

Surgeon Hammad and eddie treating head injuries 

Jimmy one of the best volunteer and recently trained paramedic now  training Nomi for dressing

Dr. samana preparing the patient for the drip.


Bravo Jimmy, shani, and Nomi making tablet paks for the patients 

Razor and eddie checking the wounds of a kid

Helicopter dropping supplies for villagers 

2Tango leading the Team B to the mountains to treat the patients. While Dr.Maqsood Lead the other team to the north side

Getting down to destroyed village of Davli-

Dr. Khurram checking the patient on the top of the mountain

Treating patient at Davli- each and every home of the village was destroyed with- 

Paramedics - Shani ,Jimmy & Nomi

Most of the patints were ladies and children

 Destroyed Davli - 300 people died here

Team relaxing in their tents after long long day

Though it was difficult for the doctors to hike so high but they did it with sheer enthusiasm

 We were constantly making announcement on thehandy loud speaker to warn the people to drink boiled water because of cholera 


Discussion - sitting out side capt. Imran's tent 

A happy moment.

An old man with a unique stretcher 

chopper Landing

arrival of air ambulance - Chopper

Shanni, Akbar and Nomi


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