KARACHI, April 18: Three boys died in two incidents of wall collapse on Thursday in what rescuers and police suspected as the impact of the Tuesday tremors that jolted Karachi and other parts of the country.
In Landhi’s Sherpao Colony, two boys were killed as a result of the collapse of a wall of the Star ground.
“Actually the walls were already weak and the Tuesday tremors further eroded their strength,” said Sub-Inspector Muhammad Ilyas of the Quaidabad police station. “This is the sole reason behind the wall collapse. The children were taken out from the debris by area people and they were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre but they had already died.”
He said that they were identified as 10-year-old Amjad Khan and 12-year-old Mahnaz Ali.
In a similar incident in the Ramswami area, the wall of a house collapsed and six-year-old Sufyan came under the debris while playing in his street.
Rescue workers said that the boy died instantly after being hit in the head.
Assessment survey of buildings
The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has claimed to have initiated an assessment survey of the city’s buildings and declared that at least three building in South district were vulnerable after the Tuesday’s earthquake.
“These three buildings are located in Lyari,” said SCBA chief Manzoor Qadir. “For the rest of the city we have already assigned a team of experts which would conduct a survey, collect data and compile a report in a few days. It would help us knowing the exact status of buildings after Tuesday’s tremors. Right now it would be little early to speculate about their numbers.”
Seconds after powerful tremors jolted Karachi and other parts of the country on Tuesday, fear and panic gripped the city as thousands of people dashed out of residential and commercial buildings while authorities admitted that they lacked ‘enough capacity and resources to handle the situation after a disaster of that magnitude’.
The officials say that though Pakistan has a high density of active faults and is one of the most seismically active areas in Asia, the position of Karachi and Makran coastal region is more precarious because of the formation of a triple junction of three seismic plates a few miles off the coastline.
As the SBCA waits for its team’s report, a source said that the authority would rely only on the data of those structures built after 2002 when the provision of earthquake resistant was incorporated in the building code.
“So the vulnerability of those buildings built before 2002 is still go unchecked,” said the source. “The SBCA can take responsibility of only those structures which have been built after 2002 under a renewed building code.”