Timeline of major earthquakes in Pakistan

September 25, 2013

Email

Earthquake survivors search through the debris of their collapsed houses in the devastated district of Awaran - Photo by AFP
Earthquake survivors search through the debris of their collapsed houses in the devastated district of Awaran - Photo by AFP
Women survivors sit near the debris of their destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran - Photo by AFP
Women survivors sit near the debris of their destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran - Photo by AFP
Army troops leave to an earthquake-affected area in the Baluchistan province from Karachi - Photo by AFP
Army troops leave to an earthquake-affected area in the Baluchistan province from Karachi - Photo by AFP

A massive earthquake struck Balochistan on Tuesday September 24, 2013, killing at least 328 people, injuring hundreds and flattening thousands of houses in the southwestern province. Officials said thousands have been left homeless as a result.

The following is a list of major earthquakes in Pakistan:

On April 16, 2013, a strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale affected Quetta, with tremors felt in different parts of Pakistan, Iran, India and some gulf countries. The epicentre of the earthquake lay in the Sarawan area of Iran which lies close to Pak-Iran border. About 34 people were reported killed while 80 were reported to be injured with some 10000 houses damaged as a result of the quake.

On April 4, 2013 earthquake jolts were felt mainly in Northern Areas of Pakistan including FATA, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale. No losses were reported.

On Feb 17, 2013, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck the northern areas of Pakistan, including FATA. The areas where the jolts were felt included Nowshera, Peshawar, Malakand, Shangla, various areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, Lower Dir and Khyber tribal regions. No immediate reports of casualties were received.

On Dec 29, 2012, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and tremors were felt in parts of Pakistan. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

On July 18, 2012 a moderate earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale jolted several parts of the country. Its epicentre was in Koh Hindukush, according to met office. The quake lasted a few seconds, but no casualties were reported.

On July 12, 2012, an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale affected the northern areas of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, KP and Punjab. The epicentre was calculated as being 194 kilometres deep under the Hindukush range, while no losses were reported.

On May 25, 2012 an earthquake of mild intensity hit Quetta and adjoining areas. No casualties were reported.

On May 12, 2012, a medium magnitude earthquake shook parts of Sorab in Quetta. No casualties were reported.

On January 19, 2012 a medium magnitude earthquake (measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale) lasted for 30 seconds, and affected the areas of Quetta, Ziarat, Khanozai, Pishin, Harnai, Qila Abdullah and Toba Achakzai. The epicentre of the earthquake lay 90 kilometres from Quetta in Achakzai area of Ziarat District. No casualties were reported.

On May 15, 2011 mild shocks of earthquake jolted various parts of Khaber Pakhtunkwa and federal capital. The magnitude of the quake was recorded as 4.7 at international and its epicentre was 41 kilometres deep and 64 kilometres north west of Mansehra. No lives were lost.

On April 3, 2011 two simultaneous quakes shook Karachi in seven hours – the first measured 2.8 while the second measured 4.7 on the Richter scale. No casualties were reported as a result of the quake.

On Jan 22, 2011, moderate tremors shook Islamabad and northern areas of Pakistan. The epicentre lay 188km North of Islamabad in Faizabad district. No casualties were immediately reported.

On Jan 20, 2011 another earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale shook Quetta with an epicentre located 1.5 kilometres northwest of Kharan district in Balochistan. Over 200 houses were damaged.

0n Jan 18, 2011 an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit areas in Southwest Pakistan, killing several people and damaging 200 buildings in Balochistan. The epicentre of the quake lay 50 kilometre west of Dalbandin.

On October 28, 2010 earthquake jolts were felt in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Islamabad. The earthquake measured 5.3 on the Richter scale.

On Jan. 18, 2010 an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale hit Karachi and lasted for about a minute. The quake, whose epicentre lay 55 kilometre west of Dalbandin, did not result in any immediate casualties.

On October 28, 2008 an earthquake measuring 6.4 in magnitude on the Richter scale hit Quetta and the surrounding areas, killing a total of 160 people and injuring 370 others in Balochistan. Several houses were also destroyed as a result of the quake. The epicentre of the quake lay 60 kilometre northeast of Quetta.

On October 8, 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck Kashmir and Northern areas. The earthquake resulted in more than 80,000 fatalities, 200,000 people injured and more than four million people left homeless. The main quake was followed by more than 978 aftershocks until October 27.

February 14, 2004 had two earthquakes – measuring 5.7 and 5.5 respectively on the Richter scale – killed 24 people and injured 40 others in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (then NWFP) and the Northern Areas.

On October 3, 2002 17 people were killed, and 30 injured, while about 1,500 people were rendered homeless as earthquakes measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Tremors lasted about 37 seconds, and caused extensive damage in the region. Nineteen days later, another earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit Astore Valley, killing 23 people. Aftershocks and subsequent landslides hampered relief operations in the Northern Areas.

On January 26, 2001 15 people were killed, and another 108 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit the entire Sindh province at about 8.20am. Tremors were felt throughout the province, from Karachi to Kashmore.

On March 20, 1997, an earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit the Salarzai village in the Bajaur tribal region, killing ten people.

On February 28, 1997, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit areas across Pakistan, and lasted for 30 – 90 seconds. The areas affected by the quake were Bolan, Jhal Magsi, Usta Mohammad, Sibi, Bugti and Marri tribal regions, as well as Mithri, whole of the Koh-i-Suleiman range, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Qila Saifullah, Pishin, Ziarat, Mastung, Kalat, Sorab, Khuzdar in Balochistan. Tremors also felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Shujabad, leiah, Vehari, Sukkur, Rohri, Ghotki, Daharki, Ubaro, Liaquatpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot, Dadu, Larkana, Warah, Shahdadkot and Kambar in Punjab and Sindh. Over 100 people were killed in the earthquake.

On May 31, 1995 a moderate earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale hit the areas of Mastung, Mongechar, Dera Murad Jamali, Chatar tehsil of Naseerabad Division in the foothills of Bugti mountains. The epicentre of the quake lay between Shahpur desert and Dera Bugti about 200 kilometres southeast of Quetta. It destroyed a dozen houses and left five people injured, including three children.

On January 16, 1978, an earthquake of moderate intensity hit Peshawar. The epicentre of the quake lay 300 kilometres north of Peshawar in the Hindukush range. No lives were lost in the quake.

On September 20, 1975, Quetta was hit by a severe earthquake but no lives were reportedly lost. The epicentre of the quake lay 7500 kilometres northwest of Quetta.

January 27, 1975, an earthquake of moderate intensity hit Murri Bagti with an epicentre which lay 140 miles south of Quetta in Suleman Range. No lives were lost, however.

On December 28, 1974, one of the worst earthquakes hit Pakistan in the area of Pattan. Areas that were affected were Hazara, Hunza, Swat and KP. Measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale, the quake resulted in 5300 dead, 17000 injured, with 4400 houses destroyed.

On June 30, 1974, an earthquake of severe intensity hit the northern areas of Pakistan (Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Multan, etc) and lasted for about 30 seconds. The epicentre of the earthquake was said to lie in the Hindukush mountains in Afghanistan. About four children were killed as a result, with damage to other buildings.

On May 18, 1974 tremors of moderate intensity hit Abbotabad. No loss of life was reported.

On May 13, 1973 mild intensity tremors were felt In Rawalpindi and Islamabad. No loss of life or property was reported.

On May 6, 1972 severe intensity tremors were felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Abbotabad and adjoining areas which lasted for several seconds. Though people fled the buildings in fear, no losses were reported.

On January 1, 1972 an earthquake of mild intensity hit Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Abbotabad, Lahore and adjoining areas for about 18 seconds. No loss of life or property was reported after. However, the same day saw a moderate earthquake shake Sialkot, which lasted for about 50 seconds, causing cracks on buildings. No lives were lost.

December 28, 1971 was the day an earthquake of severe intensity was reported in Peshawar and Rawalpindi. However, no loss of lives or property were immediately reported.

October 2, 1971 was the day Abbotabad and some parts of Hazara were recipient of five moderate tremors. No loss of life was reported.

On October 1, 1971 tremors of moderate intensity were felt in Rawalpindi which lasted about 15 seconds. The epicentre of the tremors lay in Tarbela district. No loss of life was reported.

September 10 1971 saw a powerful earthquake hit the region of Gilgit, killing over 100 people and destroying more than 1000 houses.

On September 4, 1971 Abbotabad was jolted six times by moderate tremors, which caused cracks in the buildings. No loss of life was reported. The epicentre of the quake lay 500 miles north-east of Quetta near Swat.

On September 3, 1971 about seven tremors of moderate intensity were felt at intervals of 20s for a total of two minutes in Rawalpindi. No casualties were reported.

—Research and compilation by Zohra Noushin Ahmed