pakistan
Saturday Oct 16 2021
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Strong tsunami can be triggered along Sindh-Makran coast any time, warns PMD

Tsunami can hit coastal belt of Sindh, Balochistan any time, warns PMD. Photo: file
Tsunami can hit coastal belt of Sindh, Balochistan any time, warns PMD. Photo: file  
  • Sindh-Makran coast is prone to multiple natural hazards, including cyclones, monsoon depressions and a tsunami, says PMD chief.
  • A tsunami can be triggered anytime and can cause unprecedented damage along the coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan, says Muhammad Riaz. 
  • He says an earthquake of magnitude 8 or above can trigger a strong tsunami, which can generate waves as high as 10-15 metres. 


KARACHI: Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Director General Muhammad Riaz on Thursday warned that the Sindh-Makran coast is prone to multiple natural hazards, including cyclones, monsoon depressions and a tsunami, which can be triggered anytime and can cause unprecedented damage in the coastal belt, The News reported. 

Speaking at a workshop on "mitigating tsunami risk" at a hotel in Karachi, the PMD director said: “The Makran Subduction Zone, which is within 50 kilometres from the Sindh-Makran coast, is like a nuclear weapon present in the sea. It can explode anytime. May be in 10-20 years or maybe tomorrow, who knows? An earthquake of magnitude 8 or above can trigger strong tsunami, which can generate waves as high as 10-15 metres and cause unprecedented damage along the Sindh-Makran coast.”

The PMD chief maintained that the Sindh-Makran coast had already faced devastation in 1945 when a strong tsunami was caused by an earthquake in the Makran Subduction Zone that killed over 4,000 people in the coastal areas of Makran. He added that the active fault was gaining energy and could result in another powerful tsunami, the time frame for which could not be predicted.

“A subduction zone is like a trench in the sea. The Makran Subduction Zone is around 30 to 50 kilometres away from the Makran coast. If a tsunami is triggered it can hit the coast in five to 30 minutes, which leaves very little time for the coastal community to react,” Riaz explained, adding that in this situation, it is imperative to conduct drills and create awareness among the people about how they should react in case of a tsunami warning.

He maintained that in view of the threat of tsunami at the Sindh-Makran coast, the PMD had established the National Seismic Monitoring and Tsunami Early Warning Centre, Karachi, which was keeping an eye on the seismic activities in the sea.

To a query, he said Gwadar and Makran coast were the most vulnerable areas in case of a tsunami is generated in the Arabian Sea but waves of a strong tsunami could also reach Karachi within 20-30 minutes.

Calling for keeping the threat of tsunami in mind while starting new residential, commercial and other projects in the coastal areas of Pakistan, the PMD chief said buildings should be constructed in such a manner that they are able to withstand earthquakes and tsunami.