In its years of existence, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has encountered numerous man-made and natural disasters. Pakistan is one of the most disaster-prone nations in South Asia, having sustained an estimated US$ 18 billion in damages and losses over the past decade. Multiple large-scale natural disasters have impacted Pakistan’s economic development. As a country prone to natural disasters with high exposure to recurrent and seasonal hydrometeorological and geophysical risks, earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, and storms are significant causes of damage.
Natural disasters threaten Pakistan, but which natural calamity poses the most significant threat? So, it’s an earthquake. History has taught us that Pakistan is positioned near a very active fault line that could endanger more than 170 million Pakistanis. Along the boundary between the Indian plate and the Iranian and Afghan micro-plates, seismic activity in Pakistan is primarily centered in the country’s northern and western regions. The Chaman Fault runs along Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan, beginning at Kalat in the north of Makran range, passing through Quetta, and finally, Kabul, Afghanistan.
Historical Earthquakes in Pakistan
The largest earthquake in Pakistan occurred in the Awaran, Kech region on September 24, 2013, with a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale. The 37-kilometer-deep movement of tectonic plates caused 825 deaths. The earthquake also caused a tsunami, resulting in additional casualties and devastation.
Balochistan is the most earthquake-prone region in the country, yet due to its low population and lack of construction, the province has stayed relatively safe from earthquakes. In addition to the tremors in Balochistan, a total of three earthquakes have shaken the Sindh province, with two occurring in the state’s coastline region and the third striking the Gujarat-Sindh border. Sindh’s coastline is in an active seismic zone. There is a geological fault from Ahmedabad and Bhuj to Ormara along the Makran coast and another geological fault from Ormara to Gulistan about 80 kilometres west of Quetta to Jalalabad and then turning eastwards under the foothills of the Himalayas through Kohistan to Haryana in India and beyond. Another one is located in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Kohistan, and Swat districts. The 2005 earthquake was more powerful than the 1974 earthquake devastated Pattan, Duba, Palas, and other nearby communities. Pakistan has made significant economic and human development over the past decade by reducing absolute poverty and expanding shared wealth, despite frequent natural calamities.
Prediction about the earthquake in Pakistan
After the prediction of Dutch scholar Frank Hoogerbeets on the terrible earthquake came true, rumors are circulating that an earthquake will certainly strike Pakistan, India, and other nations. After an earthquake warning in India and Pakistan, tens of thousands of people began to worry. However, scientists cannot forecast earthquakes.
But are these predictions true? The forecast is based on the correlation between the planetary alignment and the outcome. Because there is no scientific basis for earthquake predictions, there is no need for alarm. In regions with active faults, earthquakes are always possible, although specific forecasts perform no better than chance when tested. Although sections of India and Pakistan are exceptionally seismically active and scientists do assess the probability of earthquakes occurring in specific regions, it is impossible to forecast when and where earthquakes will occur. Furthermore, it is currently impossible to predict exactly when, where, or how large an earthquake will occur.
Currently, no science, magic, or sorcery allows one to anticipate an earthquake inside a given window. Therefore, scientists cannot anticipate earthquakes with precision at this time. Instead, scientists assess the chance of earthquakes occurring in particular places and time periods. For example, India and Pakistan are exceptionally seismically active regions. However, the alleged prediction that a large earthquake will strike India and Pakistan within the next 15 days needs more scientific support.
Precautions for Earthquake
Earthquakes are unforeseen occurrences that cannot be predicted in advance. Safety during an earthquake requires preparation and knowledge of what to do. Before the next earthquake, it is vital for your family’s safety to practice earthquake safety at home and assemble a disaster preparedness pack. Prepare emergency supplies and fortify your home against earthquake damage. Therefore, the only way to rescue oneself is by taking the necessary precautions. No one can predict when or where a quake will occur, but you and your family can be ready for the next major tremor.
The initial phase of earthquake safety procedures is to ensure that the structure in which you reside satisfies seismic construction standards. Next, arrange the cabinets in your home so that the heaviest goods are stored on the lowest shelves. Thus, you can guarantee that these heavy objects will not become projectiles during an earthquake. Next, utilize latches to keep the cabinet doors from opening during an earthquake and to prevent the contents from falling out. Lastly, Keep calm and reassure others.
What does the future hold for Pakistan?
Due to the intricate network of active fault lines, earthquakes are prevalent and have the possibility of causing widespread devastation, particularly in the northern mountainous regions. The Pakistan Geological Center has warned that a magnitude 6.5 or more tremendous earthquake may strike Pakistan this year. Although earthquakes cannot be foreseen, we Pakistanis must take every precaution to prevent a recurrence of the 2005 earthquake since if it occurs again, the pillars supporting Pakistan will crumble, resulting in the country’s demise.