Disaster Management

Punjab Historically very few earthquakes have occurred here, however damage from earthquakes in the region has mostly Click to view it in full size occurred during large events originating in the Himalayas. The last earthquake that directly affected Punjab was in 1905. The M7.8 Kangra earthquake caused MM VII damage in cities like Amritsar, Jallandhar, Tarn Taran, etc. In Jallandhar, the quake was strong enough to knock down chimneys and parapets and even a few masonry walls. Five roofs collapsed in the bazaar and the minaret of a mosque fell as well. At Amritsar, damage was similar, with many famous buildings (at that time) suffering some damage or the other. Most of the damage was from the fall of non-structural elements. Tall structures in Amritsar, such as the bellfrys of two churches, the Clock Tower, and minarets of the Sheikh Din Mosque were badly damaged, two of the latter fell. The Golden Temple was not damaged. The town of Tarn Taran near Amritsar was witness to similar damage and 9 people were killed here. The Golden Temple here was badly damaged, with the roof collapsing. It didn’t break through the sanctuary roof which was extremely fortunate as it was crowded with worshippers at the time. Damage to varying degrees occurred at Ludhiana, Ferozpur and other smaller towns in Punjab and also across the border in Lahore (25 dead), Gurjanwala, Gujrat, Multan, Sialkot and Wazirabad. Damage from this earthquake would be comparable, if not similar to the damage in Ahmedabad during the Bhuj earthquake, if one does not consider the collapse of multi-storied buildings during the latter. The 1999 Chamoli earthquake resulted in one death at Nakodar (SW of Jalandhar).

An Earthquake near Lahore in 1827 is believed to have killed 1,000 people and a fort was destroyed. A few moderate events have occurred since 1970,most notably in 1970 (M5.2, Near Kasur, Pakistan, Indo-Pakistan border, SW of Amritsar) and 1996 (M5.1, NW of Hoshiarpur, Punjab). Mild tremors are recorded from this region and the last significant one occurred on 27 September 2003. It had a magnitude of 3.7 and centred between Hoshiarpur and Jallandhar, it was felt mildly in both the cities.