A large crowd gathered at Margalla Towers on Saturday to pray for the lives lost on October 8, 2005.
Floral wreathes, cards and messages were affixed to a monument erected with the names of those who died in the tragedy. “Abbas Khan, we miss you,” read one message. “Hina and Neha, our prayers are for you always,” read another. One note demanded the Prime Minister’s inspection team’s report be made public.
Memories and wounds of the earthquake are still fresh.
“I was alone in my house at the time and did not have enough courage to come out of my house,” one of the visitors to the site stated. “Islamabad can never forget that day,” she said.
In addition to the victims’ friends and families, students and officials from Preston University, representatives of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), Boy Scouts and Haibi-S Adventure Club were also present. Later in the evening, a candlelight vigil was held to pay homage to the victims.
Seventy-three people were killed and 100 injured in the earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale and that brought the towers, already weakened due to design faults, down. After four years, the remaining portion of the Margalla Towers serves as a glaring reminder of the losses suffered during that fateful morning.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2011.