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Victims of Oct 8 earthquake remembered

14th October, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) observed National Disaster Awareness Day at Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, University of Peshawar to remember the victims of October 8, 2005 earthquake.

Dr Rasool Jan, the vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar, was chief guest on this occasion. The deans and faculty members from different departments along with a large number of students attended the event.

The objective of the event was to express solidarity with the people, who lost their family members on October 8, 2006 and to arouse the spirit of individual and group enrichment to face the challenges in the post-disaster scenario.

In consonance with the significance of the occasion, PDMA with the help of Malteser International, Action against Hunger, Care International, IDEA and other non-government organisations launched an awareness campaign for civil society.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad Khalid, director of human resource and relief of PDMA, said that in the 2005 earthquake, northern parts of the province were badly affected.

Muzaffarabad was the hardest hit area mainly because the epicentre of earthquake was just 19 kilometres to its northeast, he added.

Mr Khalid said that PDMA was observing the day in the memory of the victims of the devastating earthquake, which left more than 73,000 people dead and millions of others injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

PDMA had recently established Disaster Risk Management Strategic Unit, which would work on risk assessment studies, surveys, capacity building and advocacy. “PDMA also intends to involve all stakeholders, particularly organisations with extensive experience in disaster risk management, to make disaster resilient Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he added.

Dr Rasool Jan said on the occasion that they couldn’t stop natural disasters but they could reduce the losses through Disaster Preparedness and Management. “As a nation we need to take the ownership and should ready for any volunteer work,” he added.

Dr Rasool Jan said that Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, UoP conducted regular trainings. “PDMA is doing wonderful job with Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management and we are ready for partnerships with every one for this good cause,” he added.

Dr Rasool Jan appreciated PDMA for organising the event.

The ceremony concluded with prayers for the departed souls of disaster victims and safety of the country.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2016