2012 starts with a bad omen for Karachi… tremors

The year 2012 started with a bad omen for the residents of Karachi as mild tremors shook a large number of south-eastern areas of the city in the wee hours of Monday.
The intensity of the tremors was very low, but jolts were felts in several areas including the Jinnah International Airport, Ibrahim Hyderi, Quaidabad, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Sachal Goth, Rehri Goth, Malir, Korangi Industrial Area, Korangi, Shah Faisal Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Ghaghar Phattak and fisherfolk settlements along the coastal belt.
The jolts were felt after midnight when the majority of the people were sleeping. People woke up in many areas and rushed outside in panic.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Sindh was clueless about the intensity of the earthquake on the Richter scale, as the National Seismic Monitoring and Early Tsunami Warning Centre of the PMD Sindh set by the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are not operational.
“I felt the jolts too, but as the monitoring centre is not functioning, we were unable to record the location and intensity of the earthquake,” PMD Sindh chief meteorologist Naeem Shah told Pakistan Today.
“We have informed the PMD Islamabad and PMD director general many times about this,” he added.
A recent research study conducted by joint teams of different international organisations and the PMD revealed that Karachi faces a high earthquake risk as the city lies on one major and four minor fault lines, about 150-km east of the triple junction between the Arabian, Indian, and Asian plates.
But despite that, the federal or provincial governments have taken no precautionary measures so far. Many areas of the city are not covered by the PMD and minor seismic activities are not recorded properly due to the absence of short-period seismometers.
Minor jolts in the south-eastern parts of the city are normal and they largely go unnoticed. But sometimes, many people feel low intensity jolts as these areas lie either on the river bed or land reclaimed from sea land. The building control rules in the city are also entirely neglected. Therefore, mild jolts are felt very strongly in these areas.
Recorded history reveals that the residents of Karachi felt the 1945 Makran (Balochistan) and 2001 Bhuj (India) earthquakes, and also irregular jolts of 4-5 Richter scale earthquakes on faults north and northwest of the city. But no earthquake has ever produced documented damage in Karachi.
But despite that, experts say that the government should set up a proper system and bound the PMD to record every seismic activity in the city.
In the past, earthquake-monitoring stations were working in Khuzdar, Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad and Karachi, but they were following an old style manual operation pattern and were unable to inform about an earthquake 30 minutes before it occurs.
But after 2004 when a tsunami hit the Indonesian island Sumatra and later in 2005 when an earthquake devastated the northern parts of Pakistan, the PMD set up an early tsunami warning centre in Karachi in 2008. However, it is not functioning at the moment.



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14 Comments

  1. Sundas Nisar said:

    I mailed the earthquake watchers from all around the world and let them know they should tell about the earthquake that shook us in KHI on their website because the information was nowhere.. Not even on TV. I tried to convince them that we did feel an earthquake but they didn't look convinced… So there is only one monitoring center? Each country has its own monitoring center?

  2. asad shirazi said:

    my mom just called me from karachi, i am in leeds atm. she said she felt tremors and jolts, there was an earthquake now!

  3. Shafaq said:

    Can sumone tel me what was the intensity of earthquake in khi

  4. khalid said:

    tonight karachi jolted again , and no record is available.

  5. Shafaq said:

    Can sumbody tel me what was da intensity of earthquake in khi?

  6. @SyedArbabAhmed said:

    People of Karachi must be very careful and learn techniques to minimize any such disaster in the future, it is sad that our schools despite the country is on the fault line does not teaches children to learn 1st actions if Earthquake comes, these shocks are regular since 1 or 2 years, they are may be 'Before shocks' or preface of an Earthquake.

  7. ahmed said:

    there we go again….minor tremor…sharp 8 p.m. no idea what intensity

    • Mush said:

      yup i was just informed by a relative in karachi that they felt it right now as well

  8. Muhammad ijaz said:

    this post is just complaining but don't any thing, any earth quake which more intensity than 5 recorded world wide.

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