I was up for a few minutes in the night checking my email, and I see that there has been a huge earthquake in Pakistan and India followed by some aftershocks.
DATE LAT LON MAG DEPTH REGION
08-OCT-2005 05:26:05 34.71 73.11 5.6 10.0 PAKISTAN
08-OCT-2005 05:19:48 34.75 73.14 5.6 10.0 PAKISTAN
08-OCT-2005 05:08:42 34.71 73.35 5.4 10.0 PAKISTAN
08-OCT-2005 04:26:12 34.82 73.13 5.9 10.0 PAKISTAN
08-OCT-2005 03:50:38 34.43 73.54 7.6 10.0 PAKISTAN
There's some system called Wilbur through which data sets from specific seismic monitoring stations can be requested. A Google Earth overlay of the site of the quake is available, though I don't know what it entails.
I'm not sure what can be done with this data, but something can probably be done with it that is useful to someone, given that this is taking place in a place without much infrastructure and building codes.
Someone who writes a blog called ARMY ENGINEER'S BLOG who is in Islamabad reports:
All - just a quick post to let you know I am fine - this was an experience I surely don't wish to repeat!
We have had about 4 discernable aftershocks and a multi-story apartment building about a mile from our home has collapsed - as I write this helicopters are periodically passing overhead and ambulances are ferrying injured to hospitals; we've no idea how many injured or deceased.
A blogger in Kabul, Afghanistan reports feeling the quake.
UPDATE: Flickr user mbukhari_prm who lives in Islamabad has photos of the collapsed building that is the same one that's in the photo I saw in the NYT when I first saw the report of the earthquake.
About this photo, he writes:
Today 8 October 2005, at 8:50 a.m. Islamabad was hit by the most severe earthquake in the History of Pakistan - (on reachter scale it was 7.6). The earthquake played a havoc in Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir, NWFP and most of the Punjab.
The above photo shows the Magala Towers in F-10/4 Islmabad which collapsed and about 80 flats were demoslished as a result. Since it was the morning time, most of the the people were in their flats, and even at the time, this photo was taken, were under the debris. Police and Army teams were trying to rescue them.
The street address of the building is 10th Avenue, F-10 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan, as best I can determine.
Mid-Day in India reports:
Heavy casualties were feared in Islamabad as two blocks of an upmarket 19-storey 'Margala Towers' apartment building collapsed like a pack of cards turning into a heap of concrete and twisted steel.
The state-run PTV said that over 200 people were trapped under the debris. Many of them were alive and their desperate pleas for help could be heard. Army has been pressed to carry out the rescue operation and at least 10 survivors have been rescued so far.
Twentyfive people, including a judge, were killed when a court building collapsed in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), following the quake, TV networks quoting officials reported.
In North West Frontier Province (NWFP), nine persons were killed in Mansehra area after some houses collapsed following the quake, media reports here said, adding one child was killed and six injured in a wall collapse of a school building in Rawalpindi.
UPDATE (7:11 AM, CST) Here is the new MSNBC headline:
There are other mentions of buried or flattened villages in other news stories. I was curious why no place names were given. Here is an interesting passage that addresses that point:
Pakistani army officials who flew over quake-hit areas reported seeing hundreds of flattened homes in northern villages, a government official in Islamabad said. He declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
So it is possible that such information in the possession of the government is supposed to come out through official channels. This will probably impede rescue opperations. And as the neurologists say, TIME IS BRAIN, which is to say that right at this moment there are lots of live people trapped in rubble, but one way or the other that will change.