MUZAFFARABAD: The 11th anniversary of the devastating earthquake, 11 years ago in 2005 was observed across Pakistan on Saturday, October 08.

The anniversary was observed as the National Disaster Awareness Day to mark the 11th anniversary the calamity as ‘day of firmness and determination for reconstruction in memory of earthquake martyrs’ coupled with special prayers for the rest of the departed souls of the quake victims in eternal peace and to express complete solidarity and sympathies with the survivors of the history’s most worst natural catastrophe.

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.

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 remained at half-mast on all public buildings of the state to mark the anniversary.

Children dwelling Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) Complex Mirpur, 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.

Major ceremony to mark the day was held at the AJK University’s Ground in the capital city of Muzaffarabad, with the sign of deep rooted love and affection by the government and the people of Pakistan as well as the national and international NGO’s and brotherly foreign countries who contributed their exceptional share for the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the quake hit zone of AJK, the State National Disaster Management Authorities said.

In Mirpur, a major ceremony was held at the Mirpur Cricket Stadium where Fateha Khawani was offered for the martyrs and simultaneously with rest of the country sirens sounded at 8.52 a.m and two minutes silence was observed in the mourning of the victims of the catastrophe at a ceremony to be held at Quaid e Azam Cricket Stadium.

Major ceremony to pay rich tributes to the victims of the history’s worst catastrophe, was held at the Municipal Corporation Hall Mirpur where people from all walks of life besides social and political workers, volunteers and the heads of the nation building institutions will attend to mark the anniversary.

Several of the mega Development Projects of public welfare have been completed in the AJK capital in the wake of the broad based phased plan to rehabilitate the AJK metropolis on latest grounds comprising modern civic and other infrastructural facilities.

Similar special ceremonies including walks for awareness, seminars and symposiums were also held in various parts of AJK including Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber districts in the memory of the martyrs of the devastating quake which left over 75 thousand people dead and lakhs of others injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

The ceremonies were attended by the people representing all walks of life including social and political workers, lawyers, journalists and members of the business fraternity to pay glorious tributes to the victims of history’s worst catastrophe this day 11 years ago in 2005.

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.