BosNewsLife – Native missionaries were in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir Thursday, October 13, amid reports of a major aftershock in the region of an earthquake which already killed tens of thousands of people and injured many more here and in nearby Pakistan.
Gospel for Asia (GFA), which supports Asian Christian preachers, said a relief team of 13 GFA missionaries had managed to enter the town of Srinigar in the Indian controlled part of Kashmir . GFA President K.P. Yohannan said that permissions had also been received from Pakistan authorities to send missionaries across the border, where an aftershock jolted parts of Pakistan on Thursday, October 13, further panicking already hungry, homeless survivors.
The 5.6-magnitude aftershock was centered 85 miles north of Islamabad (135 kilometers) near the epicenter of Saturday’s 7.6-magnitude quake that demolished whole towns, mostly in Kashmir . Thursday’s quake reportedly shook buildings, but there was apparently no significant damage in an already demolished region.
“There was a lot of panic. People were scared. Even those who were sleeping in tents came out. Everybody was crying,” said Nisar Abbasi, 36, an accountant camping on the lawn of his destroyed home in Muzaffarabad, a badly hit city in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir , in an interview with The Associated Press (AP) news agency.
A 22-year-old woman trapped in the rubble in Muzaffarabad reportedly died Thursday after the aftershock disrupted efforts to rescue her, rescuers and witnesses said.
The Pakistan tremors also put pressure on survivors in northern India , where GFA claimed Saturday’s earthquake caused already “significant damage to the GFA Bible College ” in the Jammu area of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. “While none of the students were seriously hurt, they have slept outside for several nights in fear of further tremors. Hundreds of people in Jammu have lost their homes as well, and winter is already on the way,” GFA added.
The permission for aid carrying GFA missionaries to enter Pakistan, a mainly Muslim nation, came shortly after human rights watchers expressed concern that the country’s embattled Christian minority would endure further persecution and a lack of aid in earthquake areas there [Go To Full Story]