PDMA to include rescue procedures in textbooks

Disaster management authority holds memorial walk at Sea View to mark 10 years of Oct 8 earthquake

Our Correspondent October 09, 2015
Margalla Towers after the earthquake on October 8, 2005.

KARACHI: The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has decided to include techniques for natural disaster management and rescue procedures in school textbooks.

This decision has been made so that our future generations are prepared to deal with calamities, said PDMA Sindh director-general Commander (retd) Salman Shah. He was speaking to a large number of people who had gathered at Sea View on Thursday evening to mark ‘National Disaster Awareness Day’.

Marking the 10-year anniversary of the deadly October 8, 2005, earthquake in Northern Pakistan, the participants paid tribute to those who lost their lives or their loved ones in the calamity, and those who offered help during relief efforts. The participants observed one-minute silence and then offered Fateha for the victims. This was followed by an awareness walk starting from McDonalds.

“We are here to pay tribute to the victims of the earthquake,” said Shah. “We have only taken this initiative to honour them and to make a strategy on how to deal with natural disasters,” he said, adding that the country has faced several more disasters since the 2005 earthquake.

“Awareness is really important because natural disasters don’t warn us beforehand and nobody knows what effect they can have on our lives,” said the head of Jafaria Disaster Management, Zafar Abbas. “JDC has started internship programmes in disaster management to train our youth accordingly.”

A JDC volunteer Ali Raza showed a demonstration on how to act when disaster strikes, such as managing first aid, especially in cardiac problems.

Helping hands

The speakers also appreciated the way the entire country stood united in the aftermath of the earthquake. “Over 2.5 million people were affected in this calamity out of which thousands lost their lives and we could not do anything to save them,” said rehabilitation secretary Syed M Ahmed Awaz. “But one thing that was highly noticeable was the unity of our nation. At that time, I realised that we can do everything if we can form certain guidelines.”

According to Awaz, climate changes are causing more floods and heatwaves and there is a need for the media to spread awareness and ensure unity to control future disasters.

Sindh chief secretary Siddique Memon, who was the chief guest, appreciated how NGOs stepped up to collect funds and help the survivors. “The same gesture was witnessed during the floods this year,” he pointed out. “We are introducing Disaster Management Authority 1122 in Karachi for which around Rs1 billion have been allocated,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2015.


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