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The Kashmir, Pakistan Earthquake of 8 October 2005
On October 8, 2005 at 0850 local time (0350 UTC) an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 (Mw) occurred in northern Pakistan (34.493°N, 73.629°E) with a focal depth of 26km. The epicentre was located about 10km northeast of Muzaffarabad (see Figure 1.1) the capital of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) or Pakistan administered Kashmir. Widespread destruction resulted in AJK and in the eastern districts of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. As of January 1, 2006, the total casualty figures in Pakistan stood at 72,763 deaths and 68,679 injuries, while in India they reached 946 deaths and 4,386 injuries. Close to 450,000 homes were fully destroyed and damaged leaving about 2.8million people without shelter. The heaviest damage occurred to the cities of Muzaffarabad (capital of AJK) and Balakot, which were nearest to the fault rupture responsible for the earthquake. Ground shaking was felt as far south as Islamabad, resulting in one spectacular building collapse in the Margalla apartment complex. Given the geographical location of the event in a mountainous region, the earthquake resulted in numerous landslides and slope failures leading to damage to homes and commercial buildings alike. The landslides blocked roads thus hampering the emergency relief effort and supply of aid for the worst affected areas. Disrupted landslides also proved to be a hazard since they may be triggered again especially in the period following the winter snow melt. Geotechnical failures along the road network made many roads unstable and therefore unsuitable for heavy traffic. The total direct losses to public and private assets amount to US$2.3 billion with an overall estimated cost of US$5.2 billion when relief, recovery and reconstruction needs are added (ADB-WB, 2005). The overall estimated cost is equivalent to around 4% of Pakistan’s 2006 GDP. which stood at US$129billion (World Bank estimate).
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information pertaining to earth sciences. Examples: geophysical features and processes, geology, minerals, sciences dealing with the composition, structure and origin of the earth s rocks, risks of earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, gravity information, soils, permafrost, hydrogeology, erosion
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