7 JUNE 1935, Page 2

The Quetta Disaster Quetta before the earthquake had a population

of 49,000, but Baluchistan as an area is thinly peopled. That is the only reason why its death-roll, terrible though it is, falls far short of that recorded for the Japanese earth- quake (100,000), or even for the Messina earthquake (70,000). The shocks seem to have been of altogether exceptional violence, and the peculiar horror of the cata- strophe was its sudden onset in the middle of the night, when the houses were full and the people in them asleep. The military units since employed in rendering first aid and clearing the ruins have acquitted themselves well in a heart-breaking task, but the danger of epidemics is grave, and a death-roll already staggering may be substantially increased yet. A week-end of almost suspended com- munications meant racking anxiety for hundreds of Pamilies in this country. On the spot unity between Briton and Indian alike in suffering and in rescue-work has been one gleam of light in the darkness.