A Case Study on the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2005.
This is another major natural disaster following on from the Tsunami at Christmas 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. They seem to be coming more often and more severe but why are still the less developed countries finding it hard to cope if they are the most hit?
The Kashmir Earthquake happened in the 8th of October, 2005 at around 9am and was thought to be the strongest earthquake to hit the region on a century with a 7.6 reading of magnitude on the Richter scale. It was caused by the Eurasian plate colliding with the Indian tectonic plate. In the past, these to plates have collided to create a lot more significant geological activity such as the Himalayan Mountains. The epicenter of the earthquake was Muzzaffarabad the capital of the Pakistan administered region of Kashmir, 80km north-east of Islamabad. After the main earthquake there as many as 20 aftershocks which were just as dangerous.
The damage caused by this earthquake was immense and affected three countries. The most major damage was in Pakistan, where the earthquake actually happened, here are a few:
- The assessment of buildings afterwards showed that 60% of the buildings were not reinforced concrete block and more than 60% of the buildings that had fallen were responsible for many deaths
- The quake triggered landslide which wiped out several villages at a time
- 73,338 people are thought to of died while another 100,000+ are known to be injured
In Indian Administered Kashmir (State of Kashmir and Jamu) and in Afghan territory there was also some significant damage.
- The 200-year old Moti Mahal fort in the Poonch district was notably damaged
- Building is Delhi and Amrisar were damaged and tremors caused great panic
- In Kashmir alone, 1360 died and 6,266 were injured
- 4 died in Afghanistan and 14 injured
Many rescue and relief operations were hampered due to the destruction of roads leading to inaccessibility. But many foreign governments and charities did try to help such as Oxfam, Unicef, International Red Cross and Malaysia. There were lots of hi-tech methods of finding bodies under the rubble but some were very simple. As simple as banging a hammer and listening for a response to heat and movement detectors wired up to a laptop on the surface.
Overall, I agree that this earthquake has been very destructive a lethal, and maybe now, Asia will learn to be more prepared for such happenings.