20 September 2008

Marriot Hotel bomb, Islamabad, Pakistan

Posted by Dave Petley

Just a short aside from landslides. In January 2006 I attended a conference organised by the Geological Survey of Pakistan. The theme was to gain an understanding of the lessons learnt from the Kashmir earthquake – the proceedings are available online here. The conference was fascinating but desperately sad as speaker after speaker showed images of the destruction associated with the earthquake.

Today the Marriott hotel was senselessly bombed and destroyed, with dozens of fatalities. IThis is a desperately tragic event both for those involved and for Pakistan. I hope that those injured are able to recover as soon as possible. The reality of this event feels very real to me as we had been due in Pakistan this month to provide hazard mapping training. We were scheduled to stay in the Marriott in Islamabad. We postponed because of issues around timing with respect to Ramadan. I feel very fortunate tonight.