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QAU, COMSTECH organise seminar on challenges faced pre and post natural disasters

Two-day international seminar on “Seismicity, Seismotectonic, Seismic Hazards Including Geological & Geophysical Aspects” was jointly organised by COMSTECH and Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), under COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence.

Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General, COMSTECH welcomed the chief guest, guest of honour and all the distinguished speakers and participants to the event.

During his welcome address, he shared the ongoing and upcoming capacity building activities and programmes of COMSTECH.

Prof. Muhammad Ali Shah, Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University was invited as the chief guest, and Prof. Muhammad Shahid Baig, Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation as the guest of honour. The event was moderated by Prof. Dr. Mona Lisa from Quaid-i-Azam, University.

The seminar was aimed to discuss the issues and challenges faced pre and post natural disasters such as earthquakes occurring in different OIC member countries. Pakistan and many other OIC countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, and Turkey are situated on the margins of active plates who have the history of major destructive earthquakes of magnitude 8 and above.

In 2005, one of the most destructive earthquakes in Pakistan (death loss of about 80,000 persons) was a wakeup call for educationists, researchers, civil and structural engineers, government officials and policy makers alike.

Recently, an Earthquake Seismology Lab has been established in Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad to support research activities and programmes at undergraduate and graduate level. Such initiatiAves will help researchers within OIC Countries to collaborate with each other to resolve similar challenges.

Resource persons from China, Italy, Iran, Pakistan and USA contributed to the seminar. Over 400 participants from Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, Central Asia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen participated in the seminar, which indicates the interest of participants to listen to the findings of the most renowned speakers of the seminar.

Such events help in building the most needed capacity in such areas. There is a dire need to strengthen a linkage of field experts within OIC countries. Few experts have suggested formulating a working group of experts on Earthquake Disasters at OIC Level. The aim of the working group would be to work collectively to mitigate such disaster.