ISLAMABAD: The 16th anniversary of the earthquake on devastating October 8, 2005, that struck Azad Kashmir and several parts of Northern Areas of Pakistan is being observed across the country today.
The day started with special prayers in mosques and Quran khawani for the earthquake victims. Memorial ceremonies will be held in schools, colleges, private as well as government institutions to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the deadly earthquake.
President Dr Arif Alvi said 8th October would be observed as the National Resilience Day in the country to express solidarity with the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad who lost their near and dear ones in the October 2005 earthquake.
In a message on the occasion of remembrance of 8th October earthquake, he said the catastrophic earthquake resulted in the loss of thousands of human lives, besides affecting the livelihood of people and damaging health, education, and road infrastructure of the country.
“The day is also a reminder that we live in a region marked as highly vulnerable to natural disasters, and there is a strong need to strengthen and equip our departments and create awareness among the people about disaster prevention and preparedness.”
“Over the years, Pakistan has witnessed multiple natural disasters in the form of earthquakes, landslides, and recent urban flooding which caused the loss of millions of dollars, not to mention the irreparable loss of lives,” he added.
The president noted that the people of Pakistan had faced disasters with courage and resilience, however, there was a strong need for unrelenting efforts to boost our capabilities, understand the role of climate change and global warming in causing fires, heatwaves, floods and cyclones.
The president said the government devised a wise strategy to effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and contain it by enforcing the policy of smart lockdowns and creating awareness among the people. “It is heartening to state that the international community widely acknowledged Pakistan’s strategy to overcome the pandemic,” the president said,
He added the government was determined to make communities resilient, build the capacity of departments like the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and make Pakistan a prosperous and stronger country. “Today, we reaffirm our resolve to continue to invest our energies in this direction to make our future generations safer.”
It should be mentioned that a 7.6 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale struck at 08:52 AM local time on October 08, 2005 causing massive destruction and loss of lives.
More than 80,000 people, more than 100,000 people were injured in the quake, which also destroyed villages, roads, schools, hospitals, bridges and caused massive land sliding in the most affected areas. In Islamabad, around 73 people were killed and 100 others were injured as the high-rise Margalla Towers came down.