Pakistan News / 8th Oct Earthquake > Angry over non-completion of most of the damaged infrastructure, survivors of the October 8, 2005 earthquake observed the seventh anniversary of the tragedy today.
A memorial was held in Islamabad where the survivors of the earthquake, members of the civil society and other organizations attended the ceremony and observed a minute silence at Margalla Towers.
The absence of government officials in the ceremony irked the guests.
Thousands of people perished and houses crumbled when an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the open-ended Richter scale hit Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 08:52am seven years ago. The residents of Balakot town have decided not to allow ministers to attend the earthquake anniversary events in the area.
Seven years ago, the tragedy left more than 17,000 people dead in Balakot alone. Collective prayer for the victims will be offered at the Syed Ahmad Shaheed Masjid and the Government High School where a mass grave of more than 70 students is situated.
The Awami Action Committee of Balakot will also stage a rally against the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra). “October 8 reminds us of the agonies and pain we suffered years ago as we visit the graves of our loved ones lost in the 2005 earthquake. Standing at the graves, we feel that a human and his ego is nothing,” said Zaman, a resident of Balakot.
In the earthquake, 6,902 buildings, roads and bridges were flattened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and reconstruction work on 4,401 structures could be completed so far.According to the Provincial Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Perra), 2,959 schools and colleges were destroyed and 1,304 only could be rebuilt up till now. Around 147 buildings were destroyed in the health sector and work on 78 has been completed.
Also, 479 government buildings were destroyed and work on 351 could be completed in seven years. Out of the 871 destroyed buildings in the livelihood sector, 486 have been reconstructed. Only two of the seven destroyed schemes in power sector have been rebuilt thus far.
In the social sector, nine buildings were destroyed and none could be reconstructed. Out of the 150 bridges and roads that were destroyed, reconstruction work on 85 has been completed. Out of the 1,938 schemes in water and sanitation (Watsan) sector, 1,914 were rehabilitated during the last seven years.