Kashmir Earthquake Case Study

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  • Created by: Fiona
  • Created on: 16-05-13 21:02

Location and Hazard

8th October 2005

The epicentre was 12 miles from Muzaffarabad in the Kashmir province of Pakistan and 80 miles from Islamabad

The focus was 10km beneath the surface

It had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale

It occurred on a destructive plate boundary, where the Eurasian and Indian plates are converging

There were 147 aftershocks on the same day and there had been over 1000 by the end of October

Secondary hazards included houses collapsing, landslides and fires from broken gas pipes

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Physical Impacts

In the 30,000km2 area that was affected, 56% of the buildings collapsed, as did over 1000 hospitals and 50% of schools

Landslides occurred due to the tremors - they buried villages and cut off roads

2 high rise buildings, each containing over 60 apartments, collapsed

The Karakoram Highway, which goes from Pakistan to China, was damaged in parts

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Social Impacts

In Pakistan alone 33,000 were made homeless and in total this figure equalled approximately 3 million

One year on, 1/3 of the homeless had still not moved back

Illness was caused from people not having access to clean drinking water and catching water-bourne diseases - e.g. diarrhoea

Education was disrupted because 50% of the schools in the area collapsed

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Demographic Impacts

79,000 people died

Many of the deaths were children because the earthquake happened on a Saturday, which is a school day, so they became trapped in the collapsed buildings, and also around 1/2 of the population is made up of children

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Economic Impacts

The damage cost $5 billion

Reconstruction costs equalled $3.5 billion

Damage to agriculture assets was $220 million

Total damage to Pakistan's GDP was only 0.4% because the regions affected were not very economically important

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Short-Term Responses

There were unco-ordinated efforts with little information available

The army played an important role, for example Pakistan Corps of Engineers and the infantry

Aid talks took place between the Pakistani government and the UN  on the day the earthquake happened

Foreign rescue teams started to arrive on the Sunday to help in the search for survivors

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Long-Term Responses

Early in 2006, the Pakistani government held a donors conference where $6.2 billion in aid was pledged

The Central Asia Institute (US NGO) rebuilt the first earthquake resistant schools in November 2006

Building regulations were improved

The Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority was set up:

  • the Disaster Risk Reduction Program aims to develop the skills of affected communities with district hazard indication maps - the idea is to enhance the response capacity of communities
  • 92% of destroyed housing in rural areas has been reconstructed using ERRA guidelines
  • 1885 schools have been rebuilt (out of 5701 destroyed) and they are deemed seismically safe
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