‘Earthquake Diaries’ is a series of documentaries in the aftermath of October 2005 earthquake that leveled Pakistan’s northern areas. Azfar Rizvi was a Morning Show anchor with a television network at that time. He immediately responded by opening the phone lines and people from all over the world started to call in inquiring about the calamity. Within minutes, Pakistan’s largest Rescue and Relief effort was formed.
He subsequently traveled throughout the affected Northern terrain, covering rescue and relief activities spearheaded by Pakistan Army’s Engineering and Bridge Battalion. During his month long trip, he wrote a blog about the devastation which got rave reviews in the international media and was mentioned in the Washington Post.
Azfar’s team was the first team to reach Balakot and he relayed daily bulletins from the epicenter. “It was a life altering experience, that has left a mark on how I will look at things, forever” Azfar said. When interviewed by different television networks, he kept stressing on the importance of sustainability of the rehabilitation process. “We must never turn away when confronted with a responsibility of such a magnitude. This is the time to decide if we want control of our destiny.”
The destruction was massive and the landslides had stories to tell. Pakistan Army responded to the calamity working ceaselessly evacuating the injured and setting up medical camps and relief centers. Helicopters airlifted supplies and transported the injured to hospitals. Mansehra Stadium became the origin of all activities after the first few hours of the quake. Miracles kept happening every day. Four children, aged between a few months and nine years, were pulled alive out of the rubble eight days after the landslide leveled their home.