Monday, May 23, 2022

276 killed in Pakistan after massive quake hits region with epicentre in Afghanistan — 60km from Chitral


Ration distribution centres have been set up by the military in Dir, Chitral, Bajaur and Timergara

According to a foreign news agency, the deadly quake has left 63 people dead in Afghanistan. The death toll is feared to increase.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially measured the quake’s intensity at 7.7 then revised it down to 7.6 and later to 7.5.

Related read: Major earthquakes of the past 30 years

The closest major Pakistani city to the epicentre would be Peshawar — around 200 kms south-southeast. Chitral, however, would be affected as well because it is quite close to the epicentre.

In fact, a close look at Googe Maps showed that the epicentre was a mere 50-60 kms west of Pakistan’s Tirich Mir, the highest mountain in the Hindukush at 7,708 metres, and which is around 10 kilmetres from the border with Afghanistan.

    The earthquake reportedly caused widespread panic across the region with people saying that it caused major alarm. Many of them took to social media and uploaded the moment when the quake hit. Residents in several Pakistani cities in the country’s north said that they could feel the buildings that they were in sway. The earthquake struck almost exactly six months after Nepal suffered its worst quake on record, on April 25. Including the toll from a major aftershock in May, 9,000 people lost their lives and 900,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

It may be noted here that the Kashmir quake of 2005 registered 7.6 on the Richter scale and was 15 kms deep. Today’s is 7.5 & 212.5 kms deep.
Seven other M 7 or greater earthquakes have occurred within 250 km of this event over the preceding century, the most recent being a M 7.4 earthquake in March 2002 just 20 km to the west of the October 26, 2015 event, and with a similar depth and thrust fault orientation. The 2002 event caused over 150 fatalities and the damage or destruction of over 400 houses in relation to an associated landslide. A M 7.4 event just 8 km to the south of the October 26, 2015 earthquake, in December 1983, resulted in 26 fatalities, hundreds of injuries and extensive damage in the region.

Govt soon to announce relief package

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to announce a relief package for the earthquake affectees after consultation with the KP government.
He said the ones with their houses demolished in the wake of tremor will be provided adequate amount to rebuild their houses.
Earlier to this, he had chaired an important meeting to review the situation after one of the major earthquakes of Pakistan it the country on Monday.
The meeting was attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, DG ISPR, DG Military Operations, federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar and Pervez Rasheed, Governor KP and other higher officials.

Chairman NDMA Asghar Nawaz briefed the meeting about the situation arising after the quake, estimated damages and relief works. 

Nisar directs Nadra to aid quake victims

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Tuesday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to take immediate measures to help quake affectees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
He directed Nadra staff and mobile vans to issue free-of-cost computerized national identity cards (CNICs) to masses in areas hit by one of worst earthquakes in Pakistan.
Nisar also directed Nadra not to seek any particulars for issuing duplicate NICs to the affected masses.


Funeral prayers in absentia offered in Gujranwala

A funeral prayer in absentia was offered in Gujranwala for the people that were killed by the earthquake. The last rites were organized by Gujranwala District Bar Association in which large number of people including lawyers and judges were present. The participants also prayed for the well-being of the victims. They demanded the federal government to provide financial assistance to the affected persons and not leave them high and dry.

PM Nawaz shortens trip to United Kingdom

Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has shortened his state visit to the United Kingdom due to the earthquake and will be returning to Pakistan shortly.
According to sources, PM Nawaz will be landing in Pakistan at 10:00 pm.


PPP to fully participate in relief activities

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced that the party will fully participate for the relief and rehabilitation of the earthquake victims .

Relief operations kick off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s disaster management authority has dispatched the relief goods to the affected areas. According to details, 1000 packets of food packets, 2000 tents, 2000 blankets have been sent to Chitral, Shangla, Buner, Swat, Dir and Malakand. While, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said 2000 tents, blankets and floor mats each have been dispatched to KP. It added that rescue efforts were also underway. Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi announced that the provincial government will bear the expenses for treatment of the injured persons whereas each family, who lost their loved ones, will be given Rs. 50,000 for the last rites. He also said that Rs. 10,000 will be given to each injured person.

White House express grief over earthquake deaths

White House has expressed over the loss of lives caused by the earthquake. White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest said that the United States is saddened over the deaths caused by the earthquake in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He added that U.S. is ready to provide all possible assistance to the countries.

We stand ready for assistance in Pakistan and Afghanistan: Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tweet, said that he has asked the concerned authorities to provide him the early assessment of the damages caused by the earthquake. He also said that India stands ready for assistance to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

12 schoolchildren killed in Afghanistan

In another unfortunate incident, at least 12 schoolchildren were killed in a stampede in Afghanistan’s school who attempted to rush out of their building in panic after the quake.   According to initial reports, some buildings collapsed in Peshawar, Dir, Swat and Shangla while rescue officials feared there could be casualties.

A geographical view of the region hit by quake
A geographical view of the region hit by quake

The National Disaster Management Authority, in a statement, said next 24 hours were crucial. Tremors were also felt as far away as Islamabad in Pakistan and the Afghan capital Kabul, but not in neighbouring Nepal which was hit by a major quake in April, according to AFP. Hundreds of people raced from buildings onto the streets in several Pakistani cities while the quake was also felt in the Himalayan region of Kashmir. Reports of fatalities have come in from Chitral, Buner, Dir, Swat, Chilas and as far as Rawalpindi where one person died after a wall collapsed.


According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake with magnitude  7.5 occurred at 2.09pm (PST) on Oct 26, 2015. It said the quake was 212.5 km deep and centred 82 km southeast of Feyzabad in a remote area of Afghanistan in the HinduKush mountain range. The Pakistan Metrological Department said the magnitude of the quake was 8.1. US Geological Survey has issued a detailed report and some of the excerpts are as follows “On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. T he curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places. Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.”

What caused the quake?

US Geological Survey says in its report that earthquake near the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan occurred as the result of reverse faulting at intermediate depths, approximately 210 km below the Hindu Kush Range in northeastern Afghanistan. Reverse faulting is a geologic fault in which the hanging wall moves upward elative to the footwall. Reverse faults occur where two blocks of rock areforced together by compression. Focal mechanisms indicate rupture occurred on either a near-vertical reverse fault or a shallowly dipping trust fault. At the latitude of the earthquake, the India subcontinent moves northward and collides with Eurasia at a velocity of about 37 mm/yr. Active faults and their resultant earthquakes in northern Pakistan and adjacent parts of India and Afghanistan are the direct result of the convergence between the India and Eurasia plates. This collision is causes uplift that produces the highest mountain peaks in the world including the Himalayan, the Karakoram, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush ranges. “Earthquakes such as this event, with focal depths between 70 and 300 km, are commonly termed “intermediate-depth” earthquakes. Intermediate-depth earthquakes represent deformation within subducted lithosphere rather than at the shallow plate interfaces between subducting and overriding tectonic plates. They typically cause less damage on the ground surface above their foci than is the case with similar magnitude shallow-focus earthquakes, but large intermediate-depth earthquakes may be felt at great distance from their epicenters. “Deep-focus” earthquakes, those with focal depths greater than 300 km, also occur beneath northeastern part of Afghanistan. Earthquakes have been reliably located to depths of just over 300 km in this region.” According to AFP, Arbab Muhammad Asim, district mayor for Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, said at least one woman had been killed and more than 100 people injured, adding: “Many houses and buildings have collapsed in the city.” Dr Muhammad Sadiq, the head of emergency services at a government hospital in Peshawar, confirmed the number of injuries. “Many more injured are still coming to hospital. Many are still under rubble,” Sadiq told. The mountainous region is seismically active, with earthquakes the result of the Indian subcontinent driving into and under the Eurasian landmass. Sudden tectonic shifts can cause enormous and destructive releases of energy.

Army chief orders relief measures

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has directed authorities to promptly take measures for rescue of people. He ordered the authorities to sent army soldiers in affected areas for rescue works. Army troops have been directed to carry out immediate rescue work in any affected areas. According to ISPR statement, they [army troops] have been asked not to wait for formal orders in this regard.

Army teams have left for different areas to participate in rescue and relief efforts. They have been mobilized and all CMHs put on high alert. Specialized earthquake rescue machinery has also been put on alert.

Twitteratis share horrible quake moments



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