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Cold Comfort

Running Time: 21 minutes
Director/Reporter: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy,, Editor: Michael Fuller
Year: 2006
Aired on: PBS Frontline

For millions of years, the Indian subcontinent has been slowly crashing into the Himalayan Mountains. The earthquake that flattened mountain villages in Pakistan, India and Kashmir on October 8, 2005, was a violent reminder of this tectonic drift. The quake registered at least a 7.6 on the Richter scale. A month later, the death toll stood at more than 87,000. By most accounts, more than 3 million people were left homeless.

In the wake of the disaster, who gets help and from whom has highlighted the already heated politics of the area. Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy travels by helicopter to Balakot, the epicenter of the quake. Here she takes us into the tents of women who lost their husbands and children to the earthquake. She visits makeshift clinics overwhelmed by patients, and finds a mix of medicine and religious ideology being dispensed.