Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Major earthquake shakes northern Pakistan


  • Mohi Kumar


A magnitude 7.6 earthquake that shook the western Himalayas on 8 October killed at least 23,000 in Pakistan and 1,400 in India, injured more than 50,000 people, and left more 2.5 million people homeless across the Kashmir region. The official death toll could exceed 30,000, placing this among most deadly earthquakes to have ever occurred on the Indian subcontinent.

Scientists warn that, given the lack of development and poor construction in the area, future earthquakes in more densely populated areas could be devastating. David Simpson, president of the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology, said the 8 October quake ‘was a terrible disaster, but not to the level of what could happen in the future. This is yet again another warning message of things to come.”