19 January, 2011 01:23: An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale struck Southwestern Pakistan with its centre 55 km west of Dalbandin in Baluchistan near the Iran border. The quake hit major cities of Quetta and Karachi and people came out on the streets fearing damages. While the magnitude was big (the quake that devastated the Northern parts of Pakistan in October 2005 was 7.6), there was minimal damage to be seen (Alhamdulillah – all praises are for Allah).
It is feared that aftershocks would follow this massive quake and these could cause damage that the initial quake did not. Buildings in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan are not built with any provisions for earthquakes in mind, although the rules were tightened after the 2005 earthquake. However, building codes are openly flaunted and ignored as corruption is rife in the departments that monitor them.
Following circular has been circulated by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service for steps to be taken during an earthquake. It is suggested to be circulated via email, posting on public boards, etc in order to raise awareness.