May 16

Pakistan to provide relief goods Chinese quake affecetees

ISLAMABAD: On the instructions of the federal government, National Disaster Management Authority has arranged to dispatch two C-130 flights containing relief goods for earthquake affected people of China. The relief goods would include tents, blankets, plastic mats, medicines and mineral water. The relief goods carrying flights will depart for China early in the morning on Friday, 16th of May. Senior officials of National Disaster Management Authority of Prime Minister’s Secretariat, the Cabinet Division, Foreign Office and Chinese Embassy will see off the flights in a simple ceremony. The President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan have already visited Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to express condolence and solidarity with the affected families and Chinese government.

May 16

President thanks Turkey efforts in reconstruction process in quake victim areas

ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf has expressed gratitude to Turkey for its efforts in building schools and university in Azad Kashmir after the devastating earthquake of October, 2005. This he said during a meeting with the Chairman of Turkish NGO Lighthouse Association, Engin Yilmaz , in Rawalpindi on Thursday. The President said that the NGO had done a commendable job in further strengthening the friendly and brotherly ties between the people of Turkey and Pakistan.

May 15

Soomro expresses condolence loss of human lives in Chinese quake

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of thousands of precious human lives as a result of the devastating earthquake that hit the Sichuan province of China. In a message of condolence to Chairperson Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the Senate Chairman, Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro said that he, his colleagues in the Senate and the people of Pakistan as ever before stand shoulder to shoulder with their Chinese brothers in this hours of trial and distress and fully share their grief. He expressed confidence that the people of China would overcome this adversity boldly adding that our sympathies are with the bereaved families and the victims of the natural calamity.

May 13

IT Minister appreciate world community role in quake

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for I.T. and Telecommunications, Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that the international community responded remarkably well and played invaluable services remained steadfast despite enormous challenges in the wake of the earth quake to bring life back to normal. He stated this at the meeting with vice president British Telecom Global services, who called on him on Monday at the IT Ministry. Mr. Falkner’s recent visit was at the conclusion of his recent trip to the quake stricken northern areas at the auspices of the government of Pakistan.

B.T, which has been indirectly doing business in Pakistan since inception and present locally since five years had played an effective role in the aftermath of the earth quake when it donated satellite communication equipment worth Rs. 140 million to the government of Pakistan This equipment enabled free calls to UK or any world wide destination and voice communications between sites in Pakistan. Moreover, additional equipment worth Rs. two and a half crores for compatibility with Pak sat satellite needed to establish communication links was also donated. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

Earthquake in China kills up to 5,000

BEIJING (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake in southwest China has killed up to 5,000 people and left as many as 10,000 injured, state media said, as hundreds of children remained trapped in at least eight collapsed schools. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in Beichuan county of mountainous Sichuan province alone after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region during the early afternoon on Monday, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government.

As many as 10,000 in Beichuan county were feared injured and 80 percent of the buildings there had been destroyed, the report said. Beichuan’s population is 161,000, meaning about one in 10 residents were killed or injured in the quake. The county is a part of Mianyang city, and about 160 km (100 miles) from the provincial capital, Chengdu. Read the rest of this entry »

May 05

Quake jolts various parts of Balochistan

QUETTA: A powerful earthquake jolted Awaran district of Balochistan province, sources said. The tremors felt at 9:18 am on Monday. The epicenter of 4.1-magnitude earthquake was 1000 kilometer in northwest of Peshawar.

May 02

UN hails pace of reconstruction in quake hit areas

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations has hailed the pace of reconstruction activities in the earthquake affected areas of AJK and NWFP. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Friday, Country Director UN-Habitat Jean Christopher Adrian described the housing reconstruction programme as a role model for the international community to cope with the future disasters.

Recognizing the unprecedented success of ERRA in the affected areas, Christopher Adrian said its owner driven approach of giving money to the affectees’ ensured speed in reconstruction of safer homes. He said about two hundred and forty thousand houses have so far been completely rebuilt while the remaining would be completed by the end of this year.

About his organization’s future plans for Pakistan, he said they are planning to start a series of activities in the water and sanitation sector, besides ensuring a better living condition for the residents of Kachi Abadis.

Apr 27

ERRA Monitoring and Evaluation 2007 Ceremony

Chairman ERRA Altaf Muhammad Saleem addressing at the launching ceremony of the ERRA Monitoring and Evaluation 2007 on April 25, 2008

Apr 27

Not payment to quake affectees is injustice: Turabi

ISLAMABAD: Former Amir Jamaat-e-Islami AJK and EX. Member AJK Assembly Abdur Rashid Turabi has said stopping payment to earthquake stricken people of Bagh and Azad Jummu and Kashmir is injustice as the rules and regulations regarding the payment has been issued when majority of the affectees has built their houses.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, he has said that problems of the affectees should be immediately resolved, otherwise, they would organize a long March on May 11. In the letter Abur Rashid Turabi says, “The Fault is on the part of ERRA and other concerned officials as they have been issuing different code of conduct on different occasions.” He writes that the affectees are more perplexed when authorities apply double standard in this regard.

A strong protest was already staged under the auspices of Awami Action Forum Bagh and the authorities were urged to resolve the issue but no sincere effort had been made, he added. He hoped that the new government under dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister will take stock of the situation immediately. It is pertinent to mention that ERRA has stopped payment to the affectees on pretext that the residents have not used blocks of certain size.

Apr 26

PM asks ERRA to complete work within given timeframe

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Youssuf Raza Gillani has directed Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to expedite reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in the earthquake affected areas and complete the work within the given timeframe.

He was chairing a special meeting here on Saturday that reviewed the performance of ERRA regarding reconstruction and rehabilitation. The Prime Minister also asked ERRA to involve elected representatives while giving final shape to the proposals regarding reconstruction activities.

He stressed the need for ensuring transparency accountability and international validity of the reconstruction process in the affected areas. The Prime Minister decided to hold ERRA Council meeting every month instead of three month with a view to speed up the whole reconstruction process and ease out the affected people. He approved seven hundred million rupees for land acquisition in new Balakot city. He also directed the AJK and NWFP governments to allocate money for maintenance of the new facilities in their respective areas to benefit the people in long run.

He asked ERRA to bring complete and solid suggestions regarding construction of new Balakot city in the next meeting of the council. Earlier, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of ERRA gave detail briefing regarding reconstruction activities in the Earthquake affected areas.

The Deputy Chairman informed the Prime Minister that reconstruction activities would be completed by April next year. He said ERRA was working with the concerned governments in twelve sectors of reconstruction. He said town planning for Muazaffarabad, Bagh, Rawalakot and new Balakot cities had been finalized.He said so far over two billion rupees had been disbursed to the people to reconstruct their homes.

He informed the meeting that 3,56,451 houses had been completed while 1,63,747 would be completed shortly. Similarly he said 5,343 educational institutions, 307 health facilities and 4080 water supplies and sanitations schemes would be completed by the end of current financial year. The Deputy Chairman said that according to initial estimates reconstruction required four point three billion dollars but due to price escalation one point four billion dollars would more be needed. End-SANA-IM