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Library destruction in Muzaffarabad (continued)

Library destruction in Muzaffarabad
Fri October 21, 2005

Nuzhat Rahman, Head, Acquisitions, Library of Congress--Islamabad, Pakistan reports

  "Just heard from a colleague at the American Center whose father
  was working for the AJK University Library and was in the library
  when the earthquake struck, that the whole campus has been
  destroyed and scores of students and teachers were killed there
  but luckily the library staff survived as the library was not
  destroyed completely but the structure is damaged.  Most of the
  books and equipment is safe as long as the damaged structure does
  not fall apart due to continuous aftershocks.

  "As for the Khurshid National Library I contacted Jasmine Manzoor
   of Pakistan Television, who had gone to Muzaffarabd last week
   and in her live reporting from there I had seen the debris of
   the K.N. Library.  I talked to her on the phone and she
   confirmed that the library has caved in deep in the ground and
   only a small demolished part is visible on the ground.

  "Actually the library was not on the plain ground but on a small
   hillock with a beautiful view around.  The earthquake was of
   such ferocity that according to the eyewitnesses the ground and
   hills were moving upwards and downwards like huge waves of
   water, causing mountains to move and break and at several places
   this caused the crevasses wide enough to swallow the whole
   buildings and that is what happened with the Library building.
   Two such cracks very long and very wide have divided
   Muzaffarabad in three parts.

  "The library building had two floors i.e. the basement and the
   ground floor; all the treasures were in the basement, which went
   down deep in the ground.  The newspaper reading rooms and Admin.
   offices were on the ground floor.

  "The total staff members were 22 and whoever was there at that
   time or at home has not been accounted for yet.  The colleague
   at the American Center had also some friends among the Library
   staff and he has been visiting regularly all the hospitals in
   Islamabad and Rawalpindi to check if any of them or any of the
   other staff has been brought there, he has not found anyone

Nuzhat Rahman

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