Deforestation Contributed to Land Slides and Deaths in Pakistan Quake Zone

Environmentalists are frequently disparaged for blaming supposedly “natural disasters” as being attributed to environmental decline. In the past year I have highligted the role of coastal development and ecosystem loss as a cause for damaged done by the Asian Tsunami and the Gulf Coast Hurricanes. It appears I missed one sign of ecological collapse in 2005 – the damage caused in Pakistan by the recent earthquake were greatly exacerbated by deforestation of the steep mountain slopes. Land slides claimed many lives and many deaths could have been prevented by maintaining and restoring natural forest cover on land slide prone areas in earthquake zones.

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