Report on Post Earthquake Rapid Assessment Northern Pakistan - 8 Oct 2005

from Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Published on 23 Nov 2005

On 8 October 2005 an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred in Northern area of Pakistan and in the border area of Indian Kashmir devastating an area of nearly 30,000 km. The impact zone extended to some areas in Afghanistan too. As per the official reports, around 75,000 people were killed in all the three countries, but the actual figure might be higher than what has been recorded to date.

The earthquake had highest impact in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), as well as 5 districts of Jammu and Kashmir partly under Pakistan and partly under the territory of Indian Kashmir. The total devastation caused was much higher than any of the earthquake disasters recorded in the recent history of Pakistan. The destruction to housing and settlements, urban as well as rural, was much higher than ever before. The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) was invited by the Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) to participate in the rapid assessment mission initiated by HFHI. This mission was undertaken to conduct a study of the direct impact of the event and to identify the issues to be considered in meeting the shelter needs, during the immediate aftermath as well as in the long-term recovery phase.

The Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) took immediate steps to mobilize a team, which also included a member from ADPC and a member from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) of Thailand, respectively, to visit affected areas in Pakistan namely Bagh in Azad Kashmir, and Abbottabad, Manserha and Balakot in North Western Frontier Province from 31st October to 4th November 2005.

During the visit, the team analyzed the destructions, especially to buildings and dwellings, gathered information on the types of construction, causes of failure due to the earthquake, potential seismicresistant interventions during reconstruction phase, and solutions for winter shelter. This report presents the findings on:

  • Factors that contributed to high losses, casualties and damages to property

  • Possible risk reduction measures to be included in long and short term recovery programs

  • Suggestions on the approaches for implementation of reconstruction and rehabilitation programs
These findings, however, would need updating as more information flows in and therefore conducting another detailed assessment before the commencement of the recovery program, is highly recommended. The findings represent the conclusions from most current observations made at present and available to help those involved in formulation of a comprehensive recovery program as well as long and short term approaches for mitigation of impacts of future earthquake disaster events.

The ADPC wishes to place on record its appreciation to HFHI for the opportunity provided to ADPC for participation in the study and wish to thank all the team members namely Barry Mackey, Jack Blanchette, Kathryn Reid, Samantha Rex, Farhan Mall of HFHI, Dan Bavington of ZOR Engineers (PVT) LTD, Dr. Pennung Warnitchai of AIT, The Evangelical Assistance Mission (TEAM) and Mr. N.M.S.I. Arambepola of ADPC, for their inputs and assistance during the study.

Dr. Suvit Yodmani,
Executive Director,
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)
November 23, 2005

(pdf* format - 3.46 MB)