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Building damage and casualties in the Kashmir Earthquake of 8.10.05

Kashmir earthquakeProf Robin Spence
Emily So
Dr Steve Platt (CAR)

Following the earthquake in Kashmir in October 2005, Department was awarded a small grant from EPSRC to visit Pakistan and study the effects of the event. Three reconnaissance missions have been carried out since the earthquake over an eight month period which consisted of a multi-disciplinary group of engineers, medical doctors and social scientists. The team consisted of Professor Robin Spence, Dr Peter Baxter from the Institute of Public Health, Dr John Beavis, the Hunterian Professor of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Dr Steve Platt from Cambridge Architectural research and Professor Amir Khan from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan. The aim is to gain a detailed understanding of the damage and casualties of the earthquake and in particular the types of injuries attributed to the buildings and environment the survivors were in.

In collaboration with the University of Peshawar, two surveys of over 300 households have been carried out in the area, consisting of personal interviews of survivors to gather information on the causal pathways of their injuries. These are currently being reviewed and processed. This is an important step towards standardisation of casualty data collection and the update and review of the Cambridge Casualty Model developed in the 1990s (Coburn and Spence, 1992).