KARACHI: Academics and experts recalled the damage inflicted by floods in 2010 and 2011 and stressed on the need for developing adequate disaster management procedures during the first day of the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Annual Emergency Medical Conference on Thursday.
Dr Mukesh Kumar, associate professor at NED University’s department of earthquake engineering, made some hair-raising revelations about the geological position of Karachi. Recent studies by Bilham et al., (2007) predict that a subduction zone event of magnitude 8 on the Richter scale can take place to the west of Karachi, while the Kachchh region, which lies to Karachi’s east, can witness an earthquake of magnitude up to 8. Strike ruptures of magnitude 8 on the Richter scale can occur in the northwest of the city and an earthquake of magnitude 6 can occur beneath the city.
Dr Syed Jamal Shah of the International Federation of Red Cross said that floods in 2010 and 2011 submerged an area of nearly 100,000 square kilometers, or one fifth of the country, below sea level. Nearly 20 million people were displaced by the floods, 1,985 died and 2,946 were injured.
The monetary damage inflicted by the natural disasters came to Rs855 billion. Shah added that shelter, food, water, and sanitation and basic health services were some of the immediate needs of people displaced by natural disasters.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2012.