Remembering 2005 earthquake victims
08 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: On the seventh anniversary of the 2005 earthquake that hit Azad Kashmir and northern parts of the country, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the scars of personal and national loss of that day are still fresh in memory.
In his message, he said the government would extend its complete support to all initiatives to promote awareness about ways to deal with natural disasters.
The prime minister said that October 8, 2005, reminds of the ill-fated day when a massive earthquake brought destruction and devastation to the northern parts of the country.
"Our hearts go out to the families who lost their loved ones. The entire nation shares their grief and personal loss, and stands in complete solidarity with those who suffered this tragedy."
If the scale of destruction, loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure, was monumental, even greater was the resolve and determination of the nation, he noted.
The premier said that the nation closed its ranks and rose to the occasion irrespective of caste, creed, age, gender, ethnicities and regions to help their fellow countrymen in distress.
He said that the promptness with which the nation got engaged in relief and rescue efforts was a testimony of its resolve to face challenges, even in adversity.
"As we observe National Disaster Awareness Day today, the government of Pakistan reaffirms its resolve to stay engaged till the complete reconstruction of the earthquake-affected areas," he added.
"Together with our friends and international partners, we have come a long way off in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure, including roads, buildings, and houses. We have particularly focused on reconstruction of educational and health facilities, the worst hit by the earthquake."
He said that ERRA, the government's apex organisation, continues to spearhead the rehabilitation efforts with the support of its development partners.
"Let me acknowledge our deep sense of gratitude to the international community and development partners for their generous assistance. Their timely support enabled the government and people of Pakistan to remain steadfast in the aftermath of this colossal tragedy with equanimity."
"On the occasion of National Disaster Awareness Day, it is important that we explore ways and means to promote post-calamity awareness among the masses. ERRA, media and all stakeholders have a job cut out for themselves. The government would extend its complete support to all such initiatives," the prime minister concluded.
The victims of 2005 earthquake will be remembered in various prayer and remembrance ceremonies throughout the country today. The 7.6 magnitude earthquake jolted most parts of the country, killing almost 80,000 people and injuring 100,000 others.
The severity of the damage caused by the earthquake is attributed to severe up thrust, coupled with poor construction. Following the calamity, October 8 was declared National Disaster Awareness Day.