Tag: Earthquakes

Balochistan’s 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake

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A 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday, September 24, 69 kilometres northeast of Awaran in the remote region of Balochistan, Pakistan.  Emergency response and relief efforts have been difficult due to the mountainous terrain.  It is estimated that 300,000 people have been affected in the region.  The death toll of 355 continues to rise as rescue workers search through the rubble.  According to the government’s most recent Situation Report, many areas are still inaccessible.  Rescue efforts slowed Thursday as an army helicopter with two high-ranking generals on board came under rocket fire near Balochistan’s Awaran district.  The army said they will continue rescue and relief operations in the area.

Roads are nonexistent in some areas, so aid is airlifted to such places, and helicopters and C-130 planes are being used for that… we fear the death toll could rise, as we still have to reach out to some far-flung areas. — Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan

The army is flying severely injured individuals to hospitals in Karachi to receive proper medical care.  The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Balochistan issued a press release Thursday afternoon, confirming that Awaran suffered the area’s greatest hit from the earthquake.  95 percent of the houses were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake and aftershocks.  The listed total number of casualties are 355 dead, 619 injured.  In Awaran there are 311 deaths and 440 injuries; in Kech there are 44 deaths and 179 injuries.  Officials stressed that there are ongoing rescue and relief operations involving the army, paramilitary forces and civilians.  Food and other necessities were distributed in some of the remote area via helicopter.

The Red Crescent has disaster preparedness stocks in the region that can be mobilized rapidly, but the biggest challenge is reaching the affected area… It takes between 18-20 hours to travel to Awaran from Quetta and it’s unclear how many villages surrounding the epicentre still haven’t been reached. Some may not be accessible by road.  Mike Higginson, acting head of delegation for the IFRC in Pakistan

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (Quetta) has been issuing updates today on Facebook.  Most of the Red Crescent supply hubs are hundreds of kilometres away.  In one of their recent updates, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society announced that 3 teams had been deployed to the town of Awaran, “Two health teams (1 doctor, 2 paramedics and 1 x ambulance with driver in each team) and one disaster response and coordination team left during the day after the medicines were loaded. The teams will travel round the clock to reach the affected area. The estimated travel time from Quetta to Awaran is 18 to 20 hours.”

Although there have been national efforts amassed to help, some non-governmental organisations, such as the IRIC, have not deployed to Western Pakistan to assist in the aftermath because of ongoing security concerns.  “Not only is the region remote, but security concerns mean that both the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are unable to directly conduct humanitarian operations in the area. However, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society has a well-established network on the ground and is able to operate freely,” said Patrick Fuller of the IFRC.

These are troubled regions . . . and we have heard about security concerns among the operating there.  However, as an independent relief organization, we are just hoping we will not face any trouble out there. I believe the people know we are there for relief.  Bijar Khan Marri, spokesman for the Pakistan Red Crescent Society

The initial damage is hard to estimate, although with food, water, crops, and infrastructural damages by the earthquake in the region, one can conclude the scope of the catastrophe will be far-reaching for a long time.  In Awaran alone, over 90% of houses have collapsed.  Many houses in the area were built from mud, and as such, collapsed during the earthquake and it’s aftershocks.  The earthquake has gotten global attention, but seems to have become most well-known for the island it has formed off the coast of Pakistan.  This earthquake is said to be the worst earthquake since Turkey’s 2011 Van earthquake.

Helpful Links:


National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

Humanitarian Response Pakistan

OCHA Pakistan

Balochistan Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA)

Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA)

FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA)

Pakistan Red Crescent Society’s Facebook Page

info4 Earthquakes Quick Links

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7.1 Earthquake in Japan, April 7, 2011




Earthquake       When there is a shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity, then it is the time of earthquake. The scale of earthquake is commonly measured by Richter scale which compares the maximum heights of the seismic waves at a distance of 100 kilometers from the point on the earth’s surface directly above where the earthquake originated within the earth, the epicenter[1]. The Richter scale then divided into categories called Magnitudes which are the estimation of the energy released by an earthquake.   Source: guardian       Earthquake happens because the Earth’s tectonic plates are always moving and floating on molten rock. An earthquake can last few seconds to a few minutes, which can be followed after-shocks. Most earthquakes occur on the edge of plates, especially where one plate is forced under another such as happens off Sumatra or past another as occurs in California.       Characteristics   The earth’s outer shell is divided into seven major and some smaller plates which are constantly in a dynamic state, pushing against, pulling away from, or grinding past one another. Forces build up as the plates attempt to move in relation to each other. When the adhesions along the fault give way, stored energy is released in the form of earth tremors, volcanic activity etc. Types of plate movements and principal effects of earthquake[2]:  •Oceanic plates pulling away from each other leads to hot volcanic material being expelled from cracks to form mid-ocean ridges.  •Oceanic plates colliding with and forced under continental plates leads to mountain ranges being pushed up, accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  •Collisions of continental plates force up mountain ranges; release compression energy in quakes.   See also a paper about earthquake characteristics published by Montana government.       Impacts/damages   There are several primary impacts of earthquake[3]:  •Total or partial destruction of structures.  •Blockage or breakage of transport activities.  •Interruption of Water Supply.  •Breakage of Sewage Disposal Systems.  •Loss of Public Utilities, eg. electricity & gas   Earthquakes will give various effects of damages while it depends on the scale. An example of massive damages of earthquake was on 2004 when an earthquake was occurred in Sumatra-Indonesia. It was not only affected Indonesia, but also several countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. See also the damages of earthquake in Aceh-Indonesia 2006 and environmental impacts in Haiti earthquake 2010.       Emergency Action   When in a situation of emergency, we should consider where we are, a good basic knowledge of emergency will be helpful in emergency situation.  • If you are indoor, take cover under a heavy desk or table. If you get under a table and it moves, try to move with it. It would be better if you stay away from falling objects, glasses, hanging objects, huge furniture that can be fallen. If you are in a public building, do not rush for the doorways and do not use elevators.   • If outdoors, move away from buildings and utility wires. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.   • If you are in automobile stop as quickly and safely possible but not under a potential materials that could fall but into an open space. When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake, such as breaks in the pavement, downed utility poles and wires, a fallen overpasses and bridges.

Learn also about community emergency response team and an emergency plan in New Zealand.       Mitigation   There are many ways to reduce earthquake damages. Possible actions include[4]:   ·  Developing construction techniques that are seismic resistant.   ·  Conducting a program to introduce improved construction techniques to the building industry and the general public.   ·  Determining which sites are safe for construction through analysis of the soil type and geological structure.   ·  Instituting incentives to remove unsafe buildings and buildings on unsafe sites or, more probably, to upgrade their level of safety.   ·  Instituting incentives to encourage future development on safer sites and safer methods of construction through:  • Land use controls (zoning).   • Building Codes and standards and means of enforcing them.   • Favourable taxation, loans, or subsidies to qualify buildings, methods and sites.   • Land development incentives.

·   Reducing possible damage from secondary effects by:  • Identifying potential landslide sites and restricting construction in those areas.   • Installing devices that will keep breakages in electrical lines and gas mains from producing fires.   • Verifying the capability of dams to resist earthquake forces, and upgrading as necessary.

Learn also a guidance manual on nonstructural earthquake mitigation by FEMA and a mitigation plan which is developed by Nevada government.       Further information   Several actions related to earthquake management planning.   1.   A journal on contingency planning for earthquake in Asia. (click here)   2.   GIS for Earthquake, developed by ESRI. (click here)   3.   A case study on earthquake risk management in Italian region. (click here)


[1] http://www.ga.gov.au/hazards/earthquake/index.jsp

[2] http://www.cdera.org/doccentre/fs_earthquakes.php

[3] http://www.cdera.org/doccentre/fs_earthquakes.php

[4] http://www.cdera.org/doccentre/fs_earthquakes.php

above info4mation is from our friends at the UN


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