Ömer Aydan and Masanori Hamada
At 8:50 (3:50 UTC) on October 8, 2005, a huge earthquake devastated Kashmir in Pakistan. Depth and magnitude were estimated 10 km and 7.6, respectively. The earthquake resulted from subduction of Indian plate beneath the Eurasian plate, and thrust faulting. Despite lack of no surface ruptures from as faulting, extensive slope failures occurred along the expected surface trace of the causative fault. Maximum ground acceleration for Balakot was estimated to exceed 0.9 g, based on overturned vehicles parallel to the valley axis. This probably represents the largest ground acceleration near the epicenter. Balakot is on the hangingwall side of the causative fault. One of the most distinct characteristics of 2005 Kashmir earthquake is the widespread slope failures all over the epicentral area. The earthquake extensively damaged housing and structures on sloping soil deposits. Extensive natural and cut-slope failures occurred along the Neelum, Jhelum and Kunhar valleys obstructing both river flow and roads. Many slope failures associated with highly sheared and weathered dolomitic limestone occurred along the presumed surface trace of the earthquake fault. Given the topography and possibility of slope failures, several alternative routes involving the construction of viaducts, tunnels and bridges are desirable in the area against road blockage by rock falls and slope failures.
Keywords: Kashmir, earthquake, Muzaffarabad, thrust fault, slope failure