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Strong Earthquake Rattles Hindu Kush, Afghanistan

Posted by feww on October 23, 2009

Strong Quake Measuring as Large as M6.5 Rattles Hindu Kush, Afghanistan

An earthquake measuring as strong as 6.5Mw struck the Hindu Kush region, shaking northern Afghanistan and Pakistan early Friday, local time.

The epicenter was located at 36.471°N, 70.925°E  in the Hindu Kush mountain range about 75 km (50 miles) SSE of Feyzabad, Afghanistan, striking at a depth of about 197 km.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties or structural damage, however, news from the remote mountainous areas may take some time to reach the outside world.. However, frightened locals were reportedly seen escaping into the open areas in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi and other major cities in the region. A news report said buildings in Kabul (the Afghan capital) shook during the earthquake.

10-degree Map Centered at 35°N,70°E

hindu kush
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Map enhanced by FEWW.

Historic Seismicity

More than a dozen EQs measuring 5.0 to 6.0 Mw have struck the immediate region since August 2008. The latest quake occurred about  240 km southeast of a major quake measuring more than 8.0Mw, which struck the region 102 years earlier almost to the date,  on October 21, 1907 at 04:23 UTC at a depth of 35 km.

Other quakes in the region:

  • Magnitude 6.5, on December 12, 2005 at 21:47:46 UTC –  Location 36.332°N, 71.130°E – Depth 225.4 km  – Distances: 95 km (60 miles) NW of Chitral, Pakistan; 95 km (60 miles) SSE of Feyzabad, Afghanistan; 135 km (85 miles) SSW of Khorugh, Tajikistan; 350 km (220 miles) NNW of ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. (5 people killed, another 28 injured.)
  • Magnitude 6.6, Monday, April 5, 2004 at 21:24:04 (UTC); Location 36.527°N, 71.028°E;  Depth 191.4 km – Distances: 75 km (45 miles) SSE of Feyzabad, Afghanistan; 110 km (70 miles) NW of Chitral, Pakistan; 120 km (75 miles) SSW of Khorugh, Tajikistan; 280 km (175 miles) NE of KABUL, Afghanistan. (3 people killed, at least a dozen injured.)
  • Magnitude 6.1,  25 March 25,  2002 at 14:56:33 UTC; Location 36.06N 69.31E; Depth 8.0 kilometers – Distances 160 km (100 miles) SW of Feyzabad, Afghanistan; 170 km (105 miles) SE of Shaartuz, Tajikistanl; 170 km (105 miles) N of KABUL, Afghanistan; ;  210 km (130 miles) NNW of Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
    At least 1,000 people killed, several hundred injured and several thousand homeless in Baghlan Province. At least 1,500 houses destroyed or damaged at Nahrin and several hundred more in other areas of Baghlan Province. Landslides blocked many roads in the epicentral area. Felt strongly in much of northern Afghanistan. Also felt in the Islamabad-Peshawar area, Pakistan and at Dushanbe, Tajikistan. [Source: USGS/EHP]
  • Magnitude 7.4, March 3,  2002 at 12:08:19 UTC; Location 36.50N 70.48E; Depth 225.0 kilometers – Distances: 65 km (40 miles) S of Feyzabad, Afghanistan; 150 km (90 miles) SW of Khorugh, Tajikistan; 150 km (95 miles) WNW of Chitral, Pakistan; 250 km (155 miles) NNE of KABUL, Afghanistan.
    At least 166 people killed, several injured and 400 houses damaged or destroyed by a landslide that dammed and flooded Surkundara Valley, Samangan Province. At least 13 people killed at Kabul and Rostaq and 3 people killed in Bajaur, Pakistan. At least 300 houses destroyed in Badakhshan and Takhar Provinces. A 45 meter wide fissure opened in Xiker Reservoir in Xinjiang, China. Felt in much of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Felt (VI) at Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Felt (V) at Qarshi, Samarqand and Tashkent; (IV) at Andijon and Namangan, Uzbekistan. Felt (V) at Osh; (IV) at Batken and Sufi- Kurgan; (III) at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Felt (III) at Shymkent, Taraz and Zhambyl, Kazakhstan. Also felt in India and Xinjiang, China. [Source: USGS/EHP]
  • Magnitude 7.8, March 14,  1965 AT 15:53:06 UTC  [NO FURTHER DETAILS AVAILABLE.] Remarks: Two people were injured at Peshawar, Pakistan. Slight damage occurred in Afghanistan and western Pakistan. The shock was felt as far away as New Delhi, India and Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Uzbek SSR, USSR).

FEWW Forecast:

Further seismicity in the region should be expected in the coming days and weeks. An earthquake measuring up to 8.4 may occur in the region with a probability of 60 percent.

This Earthquake

  • Magnitude:   6.2 [possibly as high as 6.5 Mw]
  • Date-Time:  Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 19:51:28 UTC   [Friday, October 23, 2009 at 12:21:28 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 36.471°N, 70.925°E
  • Depth: 196.5 km (122.1 miles)
  • Distances:
    • 75 km (50 miles) SSE of Feyzabad, Afghanistan
    • 115 km (70 miles) NW of Chitral, Pakistan
    • 130 km (80 miles) SSW of Khorugh, Tajikistan
    • 270 km (165 miles) NE of KABUL, Afghanistan
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.3 km (4.5 miles); depth +/- 28.6 km (17.8 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009nbbf

Historic Seismicity Map

hist seis
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green- (Source: USGS/EHP)

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One Response to “Strong Earthquake Rattles Hindu Kush, Afghanistan”

  1. […] The event was consistent with FEWW Forecast […]

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