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September 2013



On September 24, 2013 a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck 63km (~39mi) Northeast of Awaran, Pakistan at a depth of 15km (9.3 mi). This earthquake occurred in the Balochistan plateau of western Pakistan. The whole of Pakistan is slightly smaller than California and has an estimated population of 193,238,000.

Spreading over much of what is presently Pakistan, the Indus Valley civilization dates back at least 5,000 years ago. The region underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century.

In 1947, Pakistan separated from British India. In 1947-8 and 1965 India and Pakistan warred over the Kashmir territory. The two countries continue to struggle over relations today. Domestically, Pakistan is dealing with insurgents and tribal issues along the shared border with Afghanistan. In January 2012, Pakistan assumed a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.

Pakistan's climate ranges from a mostly hot, dry desert to a temperate region in the northwest and near arctic conditions in the north. Other than the Balochistan plateau of the west, its terrain consists of the flat Indus plain in the east and mountains in north and northwest. Pakistan's natural resources include: extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, coal, iron ore, copper, salt, and limestone. Natural hazards facing the country include: frequent earthquakes (occasionally severe especially in north and west) and flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August).

For more information about recent earthquakes, visit the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.

USGS Earthquakes Hazards Program,, 9/2013,

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