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Remembering the 1945 Makran Tsunami
Tsunamis waves of local origin, which account for most fatalities due to tsunami worldwide, pose a natural hazard on shores of the Arabian Sea. The main source of this hazard is the Makran subduction zone, an active boundary between converging tectonic plates that slants gently northward beneath the Arabian Sea coasts of Iran and Pakistan. Its seaward edge tracks the foot of the continental slope for a distance of 800 kilometres (refer to map below). Were the zone to break along its entire length, the resulting earthquake might be in a range of magnitude 8.7-9.2, and the ensuing tsunami would likely exceed 10 metres in height along most coasts of northern Oman, southeast Iran, Pakistan, and northwest India.
This worst-case scenario scales up the Makran earthquake and tsunami of 1945. The earthquake, of magnitude 8.1, resulted from fault rupture in an eastern part of the subduction zone along what is now the coast of Pakistan.
The rupture started offshore of Pasni and extended beneath Ormara. The ensuing tsunami has been ascribed in part to submarine slides5,11,19, and trapping of its waves on the continental shelf has also been proposed. The shaking and fooding in 1945 occured early on 28 November local time. Thirteen deaths attributed to the tsunami were confrmed in Bombay (Mumbai).
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