It was on Saturday, October 8th 2005 at around 0850 hours that a major earthquake rattled Pakistan. With its epicenter around 65 miles north-northeast of the capital city Islamabad, the magnitude of the quake was marked up to 7.6 on the rector scale and resulted in around 87,000 human casualties with over 69,000 injured. Major damage was dealt to the northern areas of Pakistan, although the heaviest of damage was reported in the area of Muzaffarabad in Kashmir.
The timing being the morning resulted in high casualties for students and employees as they had no sooner reached their schools and offices that they were buried under the collapsed buildings. Those who tried to seek help were at a loss as the roads connecting the affected areas had also been blocked as a result of landslides. They were isolated by the height of the mountains and other geographical features of that area.
The government of Pakistan estimated an official death toll at a 87,350 that could raise to a hundred thousand, reportedly over 38,000 people were injured and more that 3.5 million were left without a roof over their heads. The government reported that over 19,000 children met the cruel fate of death, mostly in the wide spread collapses of school buildings. More than 500,000 families were affected by the earthquake and an approximation was that over 250,000 livestock also died. The earthquake preceded the harsh winter and so over half a million large animals required shelter immediately.
A particular feature of this earthquake were the landslides that were at a massive scale, triggered along the fault rupture trace in the mid-slopping areas a very high-frequency band of landslides was ensued. Although the dissipation was quick as the distance from the fault rupture zone increased. That landslides were disaggregated and shallow with only two larger than 100 meters and owing to the arid landscapes liquefaction was not reported or observed.
The earthquake was one of the worst ones in the history of Pakistan with the only one comparable being the recent 8.1 magnitude earthquake on the 26th of October 2015. The quakes of 2005 was a disaster on an international scale and a lot of nations contributed in the aid and relief efforts being conducted including several agencies affiliated from the United Nations.
In the aftermath of the earthquake several major reforms were reviewed and passed by the government of Pakistan including the evaluation and approval of many existing structures in the country.