Seismically Resistant Sustainable Housing
On the morning of October 8, 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale devastated Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province and the Pakistani-administered entities of Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas in the Jammu and Kashmir region, remote areas characterized by rugged, mountainous landscapes and scattered rural communities. The eventual death toll was estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000, and the quake left upward of 3 million people homeless. The victims’ homes, often poorly constructed or sited near hazardous slopes, were vulnerable not only to the tremor and its aftershocks but also to landslides triggered by the quake. Article 25, a London-based charitable disaster relief organization, has designed and overseen the ongoing reconstruction of 82 homes in the affected regions, using local materials, employing local labor, and educating the local population on sustainable and seismically resistant construction techniques.