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Ten worst disasters in Pakistan

September 24, 2011


1935 Quetta earthquake About 60,000 people were killed in one of the deadliest earthquakes to hit South Asia when a 7.7 Richter scale earthquake virtually levelled the city of Quetta in Balochistan on May 31. The epicentre was about 153km from the city.

1945 Balochistan tsunami On November 28 a massive earthquake off the Makran coast generated a destructive 40-foot tsunami in northern Arabian Sea causing the death of 4,000 people. The epicentre was 98km southwest of the town of Pasni.

1950 floods An estimated 2,900 people were killed and over 100,000 homes were destroyed leaving 900,000 people homeless during the monsoon season and resulting floods in 1950 in Punjab. The worst hit was the city of Lahore where the Ravi River flooded.

1970 East Pakistan cyclone A tropical cyclone struck the former East Pakistan (Bangladesh) on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest cyclone ever recorded in East Bengal that left around 500,000 people dead, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low lying islands of the Ganges delta.

1974 Hunza earthquake On December 28, 1974, a 6.2 Richter scale earthquake hit Swat, Hunza and Hazara areas in northern Pakistan. About 5,300 people were killed, 17,000 were injured and 97,000 were affected. Landslides and rock falls contributed to the damage. Most of the destruction centred around the village of Pattan about 160km north of Islamabad.

2000 drought At least 1.2 million people in Balochistan were affected by drought and over 100 died, mostly because of dehydration. Millions of animals perished. One of the worst hit areas was the town of Nushki, close to the border with Afghanistan.

2005 Kashmir Quake On October 8, 2005, a 7.6 Richter scale quake struck the Kashmir region and parts of north-western Pakistan. At least 73,000 people were killed and more than 3.3 million were made homeless. The worst affected areas included Neelum Valley and Bagh district in AJK and Mansehra division. The collapse of a high rise apartment building in Islamabad also killed scores.

2007 Cyclone Yemyin At least 730 people died as a result of flash floods triggered by Cyclone Yemyin, which struck coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan in early July 2007. Some 350,000 people were displaced, 1.5 million were affected and more than two million livestock perished.

2010 Hunza Lake Disaster A landslide in January 2010 at Attabad village in the Hunza Valley killed 20 people which led to around 40 houses sliding into the Hunza river. Debris from the landslide caused the river to dam, leading to the formation of a large lake which threatened to flood downstream areas. Some 20,000 were forced to leave their homes by June. The lake is still there, having washed away a sizable portion of the Karakoram Highway and several houses.

Pakistan Floods 2010 In the worst ever floods that affected the whole of Pakistan around 2,000 people lost their lives and over 20 million were affected. Pakistan sought international help as the country was unable to cope with the catastrophe on its own.