ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Pakistan is situated at the North Western side of the Indian subcontinent and overlaps both with the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates.

Its Sindh and Punjab provinces lie on the North-Western corner of the Indian plate while Balochistan and most of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa lie within Eurasian plate which mainly comprises the Iranian plateau, some parts of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Therefore, it has a history of earthquakes. The Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir lie mainly in Central Asia along the edge of the Indian plate and hence are prone to violent earthquakes where the two tectonic plates collide.

From the year 1931 till 2011, Pakistan has seen many major earthquake including a tsunami in 1945, two years before independence. Following is a chart that shows the list of historic earthquakes in Pakistan since 1931 till 2011.

Year Magnitude Deaths Areas affected
August 24, 1931 7 – Sharigh valley, Balochistan
August 27, 1931 7.4 – Mach, Balochistan
May 31, 1935 7.7 60,000 Districts of Balochistan
Nov. 27, 1945 7.9 4,000 Makran-Sindh coastal areas
December 28, 1974 6.2 5,300 Districts of the Khyber province
October 8, 2005 7.6 73,000 Parts of Khyber and Azad Kashmir
October 29, 2008 6.4 216 Quetta, Balochistan
January 18, 2011 7.2 2 Balochistan

The 2005 earthquake was more intensive than 1974 earthquake, which had created havoc in Pattan, Duba, Palas and other villages.

The first causes earthquakes along the northern Gujarat, Kutch, Rann of Kutch and affects Sindh coast and Karachi. In 1945 earthquake with epicenter in Makran between Pasni and Gawadar, Karachi also got
shocks and some islands along Baluchistan coast disappeared and new ones emerged.

The 2003 earthquake destroyed many houses in Ahmedabad, destroyed almost the whole town of Bhuj and affected coastal area of Sindh including damage to some buildings in Nagar Parker, Islamkot, Mithi, Diplo and Badin and bridges on roads south of Badin.

In 1935 Balochistan Earthquake: At 3:02 am PST at Quetta, a powerful earthquake rocked the city and surrounding areas. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7 and anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 people died from the impact.

This ranks as one of the deadliest earthquakes that hit South Asia. The natural disaster ranks as the 23rd most deadly earthquake worldwide to date.

In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the experts cited the earthquake as being amongst the four deadliest earthquakes the South Asian region has seen; the others being the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, Pasni earthquake in 1945 and Kangra earthquake in 1905. This earthquake is the worst natural disaster in Pre-Pakistan era.

On November 28, 1945 at 1:56 am (local time), a massive earthquake, off Pakistan’s Makran Coast generated a destructive tsunami in the Northern Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Its epicenter was at 24.5 N 63.0 E., in the northern Arabian Sea, about 100 km south of Karachi and about 87 km SSW of Churi (Balochistan), Pakistan.

The earthquake was of 8.1 magnitude, major quake. A total of 4,000 people were killed.

Hunza earthquake in 1974: This Earthquake was a magnitude of 6.2 and hit Hunza, Hazara and Swat districts of northern Pakistan on December 28, 1974. The quake had a shallow focal depth and was
followed by numerous aftershocks.

An official estimate of the number killed was 5,300 with approximately 17,000 injured. A total of 97,000 were reported affected by the tremor. Most of the destruction was centred around the village of Pattan, located about 100 miles north of the capital city of Islamabad. The village was almost completely destroyed. Landslides and rock falls contributed to the damage.

The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake : A 7.6-Richter scale quake struck the Kashmir region on the India-Pakistan border and parts of northwestern Pakistan on October 8, 2005. According to official figures, at least 73,000 people were killed and more than 3.3 million made homeless. Work even continues today to rebuild the damaged infrastructure.