Combating Earthquakes

Ismat Mustafa Khan
Rawalpindi: The sudden jolts of the earth crust which are often resulted by tectonic movements of the Earth’s interior cause earthquakes. Intense earthquakes can cause devastating effects in terms of life and property.

Lying closer to the ‘Ring of Fire’ or the ‘Circum-Pacific Belt’, South East Asian countries had been  terribly hit by earthquakes having magnitude above 6 -7 during the last few years. One such deadly earthquake struck Afghanistan and the adjoining areas this June bringing enormous destruction to the affected areas which seemed to be the deadliest earthquake of the last two decades.

Though the major causes of earthquakes are natural including earth’s tectonic movements or volcanic eruptions, the interference of man with nature can also be a possible cause of earth’s tremors. Continuous drilling and mining in rocks within the earth crust can weaken the interior of the earth. Experiments of powerful nuclear bombing can also disturb the natural rock structures inside the earth. Waste water disposal as well as creation of dams and water reservoirs can also be factors contributing to impact earth’s natural geology.

In order to combat earthquakes and the related destruction, planners need to work hand in hand with the researchers and seismologists to adopt a careful policy regarding the use of modern means of irrigation and wise handling of alternative forms of energy. However, once an earthquake occurs, further risk of damage can be reduced by rapid post- earthquake response.