Pakistani quakes leave scientists debating tech’s role

October 17 2013 by Editorial - admin
In the wake of a series of large earthquakes that have struck Pakistan over the past few weeks, the country’s scientists are debating how technology might help limit the devastation caused by future disasters.

A day before the first quake, which hit southwest Pakistan on 24 September, a collaboration between US and Pakistani geoscientists was announced.

The project, which has been allocated US$451,000 over three years by the US Agency for International Development, will unite researchers to study the Chaman Fault — the location of the recent earthquakes.

Shuhab Khan, associate professor of geology at the University of Houston, United States, is leading the US side of the project. “There have been multiple big earthquakes in the area over the last 35,000 years,” he says. “The city of Quetta is particularly in danger as it lies near the fault. Bigger earthquakes could even affect the wider area — Karachi and its surroundings, and possibly some cities in Afghanistan as well.”