When a 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook northern Pakistan on October 8, 2005, it unleashed landslides throughout Kashmir. Days later, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite detected a landslide in the mountains southeast of the earthquake’s epicenter. The side of the mountain tumbled down onto two small rivers, which had formerly flowed north into a larger river. On October 27, ASTER acquired the top image of the same landslide. In the two and a half weeks that elapsed between the two images, the rivers pooled near the base of the landslide. The rivers will likely continue to pool into lakes until the water cuts through the rubble. The deep blue water has already spread into the grey-brown dirt as it seeks a new way to drain.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of Eric Fielding (NASA/JPL, the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
Two months after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Kashmir, water continued to build behind a natural dam. The dam was created when a landslide covered two rivers, which are now pooling into lakes in the valleys beyond the slide.
The magnitude 7.6 earthquake that shattered Pakistan on October 8, 2005, caused the most damage in the region surrounding the city of Muzaffarabad, about 10 kilometers southwest of the earthquake’s epicenter. The Ikonos satellite captured an image of a landslide in Makhri, a village on the northern outskirts of Muzzaffarabad, on October 9, 2005. The western face of the mountain has collapsed, sending a cascade of white-grey rock into the Neelum River. The landslide is likely only one of many to occur along the river, which is almost unrecognizable after the earthquake.