MIRPUR - Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan Wednesday stressed the need for public awareness and the utilization of modern technolo­gy to reduce human and mate­rial losses in natural calamities.

“The catastrophic earthquake of October 8,2005, was a warn­ing that we should prepare our­selves to respond to such di­sasters and invest in disaster prevention measures to ensure that such a crisis should not be repeated,” he asserted.

In a special message on the 15th anniversary of the earth­quake of October 2005, Sardar Masood Khan said that millions of lives could be saved through preemptive measures to re­spond to natural calamities.

He maintained that succes­sive governments including the present state government with the cooperation of the feder­al government have diligently worked for the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by the earthquake fifteen years back.

Saying that we must constant­ly revise and update disaster preparedness and risk mitiga­tion plans in disaster-prone ar­eas of the state to ensure the best response to unforeseen ca­lamities, the President said peo­ple in vulnerable areas must be provided basic awareness relat­ed to precautionary measures that can be taken for their safety.

The president said in spite of resource constraint, 72 per­cent projects have been accom­plished in quake-hit districts while working on 12 percent ongoing projects will be com­pleted shortly. Similarly, he add­ed that construction work on the remaining 16 percent proj­ects will be started soon.

He said that with the consul­tation of the natural disaster management agencies and the experts, the new constructions have been made quakeproof in order to save human lives. At the same time, he said that it was also necessary to create awareness among the people about the natural calamities on the one hand.