October 8, 2005: The Enemy Within
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October 8, 2005: The Enemy Within
The end of 2005 proved to be one of the toughest times in Pakistan history. Pakistan is a nation that history involves much military conflict, especially with neighboring nations. The threat of destruction of the nation has been a concern by the people of Pakistan. In todays era of nuclear warfare, Pakistans fear of mass destruction has become an everyday concern. However, they seem to have forgotten that Mother Nature also had a bomb of its own.

On October 8, 2005, at 8:50 a. m local time, a 7.6 on the Richter scale earthquake struck the northern part of Pakistan and Kashmir (“Kashmir earthquake”). The epicenter was located about 95 km northeast of Islamabad with a 26 km deep hypocenter (Seismic Risk in Northern Pakistan and the Killer Earthquake of 8th October 2005). With the tremor being so strong, even parts of India and Afghanistan were affected by the earthquake.

Pakistani officials have claimed that a total of 87,350 people have died as a result of the quake (Learning from Earthquakes, 1). Over 138,000 people were injured, while over 3.5 million were accounted homeless (Learning from Earthquakes, 1). As Saturday is a normal school day, most students were at school during the tragedy. Unfortunately, 19,000 children died (Learning from Earthquakes, 1). In addition to people, 250,000 farm animals were lost due to collapsed stone barns (Learning from Earthquakes, 1).

Due to the underdeveloped infrastructure of this region, an estimated 780,000 buildings were destroyed (Learning from Earthquakes, 1). Out of these buildings, about 17,000 were school buildings (Learning from Earthquakes, 1). Nearby hospitals and vital roads and highways were destroyed. Power, water supply, and telecommunications services were out for a large amount of time. Due to the poor stability of these structures, the death toll for this disaster rose in a quick manner. In addition, it is believe that collateral damage is equivalent to about 5 billion dollars (Learning from Earthquakes, 2).

This region houses the Indian and the Eurasian tectonics plates. The northwest motion of the Indian plate moves at the rate of 4-5 cm per year (Seismic Risk in Northern Pakistan and the Killer Earthquake of 8th October 2005). This unstable region has shown activity dated back to 25 AD and is believe to be the cause of the Himalayas mountain range (Seismic Risk in Northern Pakistan and the Killer Earthquake of 8th October 2005). Nevertheless, this activity has created a danger zone in this region.

While the quake was quite strong, farther cities with poor construction felt the effects more. Islamabad, Abbotabad, and Lahore were just some of the cities that had major damage. However, these cities were all 30 km or more away. The city of Muzaffarabad suffered great damage along with the total destruction of Balakot. Even worse, the aftershocks were not any help.

With this earthquake affecting over 3.5 million people, aid and relief efforts have been extremely tough (Learning from Earthquakes, 3). Human cost includes amputees, orphans, disease due to bad conditions,

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Underdeveloped Infrastructure Of This Region And Km Northeast Of Islamabad. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/underdeveloped-infrastructure-of-this-region-and-km-northeast-of-islamabad-essay/