MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan observing the anniversary of devastating earthquake, 11 years ago in 2005 today.
The 7.6 magnitude earthquake jolted Azad Kashmir and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 8:52 am on the morning of October 8, 2005. Muzaffarabad, the regional capital, was ground-zero in the catastrophic temblor. The city and the entire region to Balakot was left virtually unrecognizable when the earth stopped shaking leaving over 80,000 people dead and thousands injured.
In Azad Kashmir, the day dawned with special prayers for the martyrs of the earthquake. Prayers were also made for the liberation of Indian occupied Kashmir.
Fateh Khawani and Quran Khawni are being offered for thousands of martyrs who lost their lives in the quake-hit districts of Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The maing gathering in the memory of the dead held at University Ground in Muzaffarabad.
Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, Raja Farooq Hyder laid floral wreath at the memorial of the martyrs. The ministers and large number of local people attended the ceremony. One minute silence was observed at 08:53 this morning.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir flag is flying at half-mast on all public buildings of the state to mark the anniversary.
Children who orphaned and lost their parents in the devastative earthquake marched in the memory of their loved ones in Mirpur. The walk started from Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Stadium was also attended by students and other local people in large number.
Fateha Khwani also observed for the quake victims who died in the collapse of Islamabad’s Margallah Tower. Scouts and university students laid flowers for the martyrs at the memorial.
Rescue 1122 held a rally in Lahore in the memory of the earthquake victims.
The quake anniversary is being observed as the National Disaster Awareness Day.
Special ceremonies also being held in various parts of AJK including Kotli and Bhimber districts.
The government had identified 7,836 projects for the reconstruction work in the earthquake-hit areas in AJK, with a total investment of Rs207.6 billion. After 11 years down the line still thousands projects are incomplete due to lack of funding or other reasons.
According to officials around 40 billion rupees are needed to complete the remaining projects.