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If someone inquired what the end of the world would be like, the responses in return would envision a million different disasters, and then some, from the realms of science, folklore, religion, and more. From the sun crashing into us, to the ice caps melting, to mountains collapsing - it would be described as catastrophic. October 8, 2005 was that day for me. The night before, I had gotten into bed in my little home in Bagh, in Azad Kashmir, expecting tomorrow to be like the rest. I had woken up the next day, and was going along with my mundane routine. As I brushed my teeth, I glanced at the clock - 8:51 AM, and … it began.

Engaging every single sense of mine - my eyes saw the whole house shake with such rigor. My ears tried to distinguish between the sound of everything crumbling around me, and my mother yelling for me. My legs, my entire body was trying to retain its balance, as the ground shook with such intensity. Everything happened so fast, as my mother, sister, and I stood together, praying and reciting holy verses under our breath. After it stopped, we stood in the open for an hour or so, unsure of what was to follow. The scenes that followed were very devastating as we travelled across the town. The debris of the...

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