[Lessons from Disasters] A small but eye-opening comparison

Abid Karim Tashi

“People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.” Paulo Coelho

The march 11th earthquake, one of the most powerful tremors at M 9.0, and and the resultant Tsunami brought enormous losses to Japan, damaging the whole infrastructure, while also wiping out large areas along the North-Eeastern coast of Japan.

However, the way Japan responded to this disaster proved that the really powerful nations in today’s world can withstand even such huge disasters and damages.

An examples of Japan’s resilience that I would like to quote relates to an important road that was completely damaged during the mega disaster and reconstructed after only 6 days. The photographs speak for themselves, as to how professionally the road has been reconstructed.

According to the American standards a road can be constructed in a minimum time of 3 months but what the Japanese did under extreme conditions was really extraordinary.

Work began on March 17 and six days later the cratered section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka was as good as new. It was ready to re-open to traffic on 23rd march. This astonishing speed of reconstruction is being used to highlight the nation’s ability to get back on its feet.

On the other hand, it has been a year and three months for the deadly Attabad landslide that dammed the Hunza River and submerged some of the most important areas of Gojal, besides cutting down the strategic Karakuram Highway. The highway is an important trade rote between the two countries.

Despite of a lapse of 15 months, no one is sure about whether the dame could be drained, relinking the region and reviving trade between the two countries.

Our government takes 6 days to learn about about such an incident while in Japan they take 6 days to reconstruct an entire road. We take 6 months and plan for failure upon failure and then take another seven months, trying to understand what went wrong, while simultaneously repeating the mistake. That’s the difference between us and them. And that’s precisely what makes all the difference.

We need to realize our position and struggle to get where developed nations stand and Inshallah, if we start today, we will be there one day.

The contributor studies Civil Engineering at NUST. He blogs at

Related Articles


  1. Just ckick on the link and see how fast Japan did accessable all thier communication system…………………

    and we have our Fast Working Organization (FWO) working for last 14 months and result zero.

  2. We can simply say what a country! Besides extraordinary leadership the nation itself has courage, unity and capacity to encounter this kind of disasters. People and the government both are honest and committed towards their goal. This is not the only examples which inspire us; they put their best efforts to face the disaster by providing food, medical assistance, shelter, clothes and even travelling facilities to their affected population. There are many more countries that have the capacity to face such disasters but on the other hand we as nations and government as ruler are both corrupt. We search for opportunities to enforce corruptions during disaster. We start corruptions from the very first day of natural or human made disaster. We need to learn from the country like Japan.

    Abdul Waheed

  3. hum sirf umeed k saharey jetey rahangeh . baqi rahe japan jesa hona wo be FWO k sath ya tu mazaq he hogah.

  4. Salute to the people of Japan. when our govt will take lessons from these nations. The Fund Waisting Organization (FWO) has got a longterm project to minimize its losses from KKH project, which was delegated to Chinese engineers. This froud Tolla is using the umbrella of Pak Army to fool people despite the facts that the public of GB very much knows this corrupt and diesel selling mafia for years but they are still known ” Saviours of KKH”. Shame on this govt and shame on FWO.

  5. Indeed, triumph of such nation while facing the natural distasters and have the competence not only to survive but also to rebuild their infrastruture as mentioned by tashi realizes us that such projects and works are a fantasy for us.
    Because we have seen such disaster in our area one year ago, the situation is that are waiting not for the project to be completed in time but we are waiting the clue from our experts and leaders that how will it be possible to re-link the KKH.
    So you can imagine their level of incompetecy, insenserity and protagonist character of our leaders and technical experts executing this work.

Check Also
Back to top button