On January 19 at 1:23 am when more than half of Pakistan was asleep, a severe earthquake jolted the country thus creating a great fear and panic amongst the people. Though the severity of the earthquake was high (7.4 on Richter scale) yet, fortunately, no human loss was reported. For the last six years or so, Pakistan has been witnessing regular earthquakes of medium to high intensity after every one or two years. It is, therefore, very important that we take such steps which can save the lives of the citizens from such earthquakes. It has often been observed that the earthquakes by themselves have been less harmful than the buildings which fall as a result of such earthquakes, resulting in great human loss. It is, therefore, the need of the hour that in future, buildings (both residential and commercial) in all the cities of the country should be constructed in such a manner that they are able to bear the pressure of even severe earthquakes. In this regard the government of the day should take serious steps for ensuring the construction of all sorts of buildings in such a way that are made earthquake-proof thus avoiding the loss of precious human lives. In this regard, clear instructions should be passed on to civil engineers, architects, geologists and contractors. Apart from this, the government should carry out the necessary survey of all those old buildings which have crossed their expiry dates or have become dangerous for further living. Such buildings should be dismantled after receiving proper report from the survey teams. ABDUL SAMAD SAMO, Karachi, January 21.