India Trembles

After its worst earthquake in a half-century, the subcontinent struggles to find the dead, care for the survivors and rebuild smacked-down cities

There is nothing left between the sky and the earth anymore," said Dawod Ismail Siddhi of Pachchao, India, a town near the epicenter of the earthquake that has left an estimated 15,000 people dead and thousands more injured or homeless. "Everything has been demolished." Nearby his sister Banu knelt beside a cot bearing the corpses of her two children.

Earthquakes usually strike without warning, but the timing of last week's temblor, a powerhouse registering 7.9 on the Richter scale, was particularly heartless. It hit the western state of Gujarat, near the Pakistan border, shortly before 9 a.m. on Republic Day, which...

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