A powerful tsunami can be triggered along the Sindh-Makran coast at any time: PMD


Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Director General Muhammad Riaz on Thursday warned that the Sindh-Makran coast is subject to multiple natural hazards, including cyclones, monsoon depressions and a tsunami, which can be triggered at any time and cause unprecedented damage in the coastal belt.

Speaking at a workshop on “Tsunami Risk Mitigation” at a Karachi hotel, the PMD director said: “The Makran subduction zone, which is less than 50 kilometers from the coast Sindh-Makran, is like a nuclear weapon in the sea. It can explode at any time. Maybe in 10-20 years or maybe tomorrow, who knows? An earthquake of magnitude 8 or greater can trigger a powerful tsunami, which can generate waves of up to 10 to 15 meters and cause unprecedented damage along the coast of Sindh-Makran.

The PMD leader argued that the Sindh-Makran coast had already been devastated in 1945 when a powerful tsunami was caused by an earthquake in the Makran subduction zone which killed more than 4,000 people in the areas. coastal areas of Makran. He added that the active fault was gaining energy and could lead to another powerful tsunami, the duration of which could not be predicted.

“A subduction zone is like a trench in the sea. The Makran subduction zone is located about 30 to 50 kilometers from the coast of Makran. If a tsunami is triggered, it can hit the coast in five to 30 minutes, leaving very little time for the coastal community to react, ”explained Riaz, adding that in this situation it is imperative to conduct exercises and to educate the population. on how they should react in the event of a tsunami warning.

He argued that due to the tsunami threat on the Sindh-Makran coast, PMD established the National Seismic Monitoring and Tsunami Early Warning Center in Karachi, which monitors seismic activity at sea.

To a question, he said the coasts of Gwadar and Makran were the most vulnerable areas in the event of a tsunami in the Arabian Sea, but waves from a powerful tsunami could also reach Karachi in 20 to 30 minutes. .

Calling for the tsunami threat to be kept in mind when starting new residential, commercial and other projects in Pakistan’s coastal areas, the PMD chief said buildings should be constructed in such a way that they can withstand earthquakes. and tsunamis.

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