Awareness about disaster management need of hour: AJK president
The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed the need of creating awareness and preparing the people to effectively respond to natural calamities so as to minimize the losses.
Talking to media after visiting quake victims at District Hospital here on Saturday, he said that we were highly shocked over loss of life and property caused by the earthquake on September 24, but at the same time, it was also a matter of satisfaction that all disaster management agencies of both Pakistan and Azad Kashmir had timely carried out relief and rescue work through coordinated efforts.
The AJK president said that after the 2005 catastrophic earthquake, the government, its important agencies, social organizations and the people had learnt several lessons and had prepared themselves to respond to natural calamities. That is why, there has been a great difference between the losses caused in 2005 and 2019 earthquakes.
He maintained that earthquake that hit Mirpur late last month revealed that all areas of Azad Kashmir including Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot were on the fault line, and we still need to focus on modern techniques of disaster management. "Side by side with short-term strategy, we need to make long-term planning to effective tackle any such untoward situation in future and to minimum loss of life and property thereof," he added.
Sardar Masood Khan particularly appreciated armed forces of Pakistan and the government agencies of Azad Kashmir for launching timely rescue operations immediately after the earthquake and saving several precious lives.
He said that when earthquake had hit Mirpur, he was abroad, and noted that Pakistani and Kashmiri community was highly worried over the losses caused by earthquake, and they wanted to extend every kind of support to the affected people. "Not only Pakistanis and Kashmiris, but foreign citizens, social organizations and the state agencies also wanted to provide relief to quake victims, and the government is currently carried out a survey after which it would be decided whether or not to accept financial support for the rehabilitation work," he added.
Replying to a volley of questions, the state president said that the Red Crescent societies, disaster management agencies and local and the district administration had appreciably helped the quake victims, but the government would compensate if still there was any negligence.
Later, Sardar Masood Khan attended a briefing at the office of commissioner Mirpur division on the losses caused by earthquake in men and material and the steps taken for rescue, relief and rehabilitation so far. The briefing was giving by commissioner Mirpur division Mohammad Tayyab.