MIRPUR (AJK)-The 11th anniversary of history’s worst and deadly earthquake of October 8, 2005 was observed here on Saturday to pay rich tributes to the martyrs and other victims.

The day was observed as the National Disaster Awareness Day to mark the anniversary of 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. Thepeople expressed complete solidarity and sympathies with the survivors of the history’s most worst natural catastrophe.

The day dawned with special prayers in the mosques at Fajr across AJK for the departed souls of the earthquake victims. It was a state holiday throughout AJK. In Mirpur, Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) and Municipal Corporation hosted special prayer congregation at the Quaid-i-Azam Stadium and town hall with the coordination of the National Events Organising Committee Mirpur. They paid glorious tributes to the martyrs of deadly earthquake of October 8, 2005.

A grand walk of the students of the Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) and other local educational institutions including Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST), MBBS Medical College Mirpur and other institutions was the hallmark of the day. The walk started from Mirpur Cricket stadium and culminated at the same site after passing through Mian Muhammad Shaheed Chowk and quid-e-Azam Chowk.

The people from all segments of the civil society also attended the special prayer ceremony for the victims of the catastrophe in which over 75 thousand people lost their lives besides injuring of lakhs of others.

The participants of the sacred meeting offered fateha for the martyrs of the deadly earthquake and for the safety and security of the nation and the country from any future catastrophe. Fateha Khawani was offered, in similar special condolence meetings held at the Municipal Corporation hall. It was arranged by social and political organisations, to mark the anniversary for the martyrs.

Earlier in the morning, Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT), housing hundreds of the children who became orphans in the killer earthquake, arranged special programmes to mark the anniversary with renewal of the pledge to continue serving the ailing humanity with full determination and resolve.

The major ceremonies to mark the day included a walk from the Quaid-e-Azam Stadium to Shaheed chowk and a special ceremony.

The participants offered fateha for those dead in the catastrophe besides praying for keeping the nation and the country safe from any further natural disaster. The day was observed not only to pay glorious tributes to the martyrs of the killer earthquake and the early rehabilitation of the other quake victims but also to raise awareness among the masses as how to deal and face any natural catastrophe with patience and all other required practical means.

Similar special ceremonies to observe the anniversary were held at AJK University Ground in the quake-hit capital city of Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot which were attended, among others by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan as well as members of his cabinet.

Special ceremonies including rallies, seminars and symposiums were also held in various other parts of AJK. The ceremonies were attended among others by the people representing all walks of life including social and human rights workers, lawyers, journalists and members of the business fraternity.