Provincial Disaster Management Authority

Government of Sindh


Earthquake is not so common in Sindh except in some of the locations nearer to the sea due to their geographical location, but still, it has a little history of getting affected. The historians believe that the first earthquake in Sindh a massive earthquake measuring 7.5 hit Debal east of present-day Karachi in the Indus Delta in either 893 or 894 AD. Up to 150,000 people were believed to have died and the temblor resulted in the Indus River changing its course westward. To the north of Debal, near present-day Hyderabad, the towns of Bahmanadad and Mansura were badly affected. They were important cities in the region and suddenly disappeared from the historical record. Archeological excavations at the sites reveal “human bones, which were found in doorways, as if people were attempting to escape, or in the corners of rooms, some upright, some recumbent, with their faces down and some crouched in a sitting posture” as quoted by A. Cunningham in his “The Ancient Geography of India” (Delhi, 1871).

In 1668, an earthquake measuring 7.6 hit the Sindh coastal village of Shah Bundar and destroyed it. In 1819 Rann of Kutch earthquake occurred that had an estimated magnitude ranging from 7.7 to 8.2 on the moment magnitude scale and a maximum perceived intensity of XI (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. It triggered a tsunami and caused at least 1,543 deaths. The earthquake caused an area of subsidence that formed the Sindri Lake and a local zone of uplift to the north about 80 km long, 6 km wide, and 6 m high that dammed the Koree/Kori/Puran/Nara River. Aftershocks to this quake went on for several months but gradually decreased in magnitude. More than 4,000 people were killed on the Mekran coast by an earthquake and a tsunami that followed it in 1945. Even the Gujarat earthquake of 2001 which killed thousands in India was strongly felt in Karachi and Hyderabad, the former being a mere 235 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter. A shack was recorded in the same year that badly affected the Sindh desert area of Tharparkar district and the bordering Badin District. Due to this earthquake, 12 people lost their lives, 115 persons got injured, 43643 houses were partially and 1989 houses were fully damaged, it also destroyed 1406 public sector buildings.

Latest quack struck Sindh in May 2014 with 4.5 magnitudes and 14.7 km depth. The earthquake killed two people and another 50 were wounded. A geological tectonic line runs under Karachi through Khirthar Hills / Mountains to the northwest of Sindh and the Thar Desert, due to which Sindh has the risk of a major earthquake in the future.

  • In the absence of a table or desk, place your arms around your head and neck and drop to the floor.

  • The areas around windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and cabinets containing heavy objects should be avoided.

  • During strong shaking, do not attempt to leave the structure.

  • You should stay away from tall buildings. Glass from tall buildings can travel long distances on wind currents.

  • It is safest for you to walk in a cleared area. Power lines, buildings, and trees should be avoided.

  • Pull over to the side of the road if you are driving.

  • If you are near to river of beach, try to access high ground, there are chances of tsunami during an earthquake.

  • Check the people around you for injuries; provide first aid. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.

  • Check around you for dangerous conditions, such as fires, downed power lines and structure damage.

  • If you have fire extinguishers and are trained to use them, put out small fires immediately.

  • Turn off the gas only if you smell gas.

  • Check your phones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.

  • Inspect your home for damage.

  • Move as little as possible so that you don’t kick up dust. Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

  • Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort.

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