Earthquake in Afghanistan, Which Happened in 2015


Earthquake in Afghanistan

1. Title
2. Location
· Date, location and time of the event and its duration
3. Event and geologic description
· Event
· Plate tectonic setting for the occurrence of an earth quak
4. Damage details and socio economic impact
· Deaths and injuries
· Socio economic impact of event

Earthquake in Afghanistan
Location information
The earthquake took place in Afghanistan near the Hindu Kush region. It was approximated to be about 45Km East of Farkhar. The magnitude of the earth quake was estimated to be 7.5 but initially it had been reported as 7.7 and 7.6. It was on in the year 2015, October on the 26th. The time of occurrence was 13:39 AFT (9:09 UTC). The location by latitude and longitude was 36.441 degrees North and 70.717 degrees east.
Event and geologic description
The tremors of the earth quake were felt in different areas that included Pakistan in regions such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Pakistan in the world is believed to have the highest quake zone in the world. It was also felt in India- New Delhi Kashmir and Jammu and also in Kashmandu the Nepalese capital.
The main cause of the event is believed to be reverse faulting occurring at intermediate depths. The location of the reverse faulting in relation to the Hindu Kush range was 210 Km below. There is an indication by the focal mechanism of occurrence of a rupture on either thrust fault that is shallowly dipping or a reverse fault that is near vertical. At the earth quakes latitude, there is a northward movement by the India subcontinent and collides with the subcontinent of Eurasia at an approximated velocity of 37mm/yr.
Science for a changing world (2016) argues that the Himalayan mountains where the earth quake occurred is prone to Earthquakes that are devastating since it has collision of tectonic plates that are pushing it up . The Afghanistan Earth quake occurred as a result of the Active faults that are caused by the convergence between the Eurasia and the India plates. This is also experienced in the northern Pakistan and some parts of India that are adjacent. These plates collision results to uplifts that has produced some of the highest mountain peaks such as the, Himalayan, Hindu Kush ridges, Pamir, Kurakoram, and the Pamir. It was termed as an intermediate earthquake since it had a focal depth that ranged between 70 and 300 Km. With this type of earth quakes they represent a lithosphere that is sub ducted rather than at plate interfaces that are shallow between overriding and sub ducting tectonic plates. When compared to shallow focus earth quakes they result to less damage. On the contrary, from their epicenters they are felt at a great distance. As evidenced from this earth quake its tremors were felt in India and Pakistan.
According to Science for a changing world (2016) Seismic activity increase has resulted from various reasons, one of the major contributors is global warming. Global warming has resulted to rise in sea levels and melting of glaciers hence the balance of pressure is disturbed on the earth’s tectonic plates. Due to this, it has resulted to Earth quakes with a high intensity and pressure. It is believed to be one of the major reasons the Himalayas in the recent past have become prone to the Earth quakes.
Damage and socioeconomic impact
In Afghanistan the number of casualties was approximated to be at least 115 individuals. This included twelve school approximated to be about 10 to 15 years of age that were killed as a result of a stampede in a school while exiting a building.. Additionally around 4000 homes were damaged severely at Jarm.
In Pakistan the death toll from the earth quake was estimated to be about 280 individuals, and injured 1770 individuals. In India the death toll was estimated to be 4 individuals and occurred in Kashmir and Jammu. Additionally in Tajikistan injuries were suffered by 14 children as a result of stairs collapsing in a school. (Science for a changing world, 2016).
The economic impact that the earthquake had comprised: direct damage, indirect losses and reconstruction costs. The direct damage that resulted from the earth quake included the buildings that collapsed, the assets in the buildings that got destroyed or collapsed and the impact it had on other services such as communication and transport. In India, it led to about 190 trains to be stopped during the time the earth quake occurred. Additionally due to high voice traffic, it led to the choking of the mobile phone services for hours. In Pakistan, the number of buildings destroyed was approximately 29,230 and about 79,893 were damaged (Science for a changing world, 2016).
For the indirect losses, in all the affected regions they experienced a flow change in goods and services in order to avoid the affected regions. Additionally the destroyed infrastructure led to decrease in production hence the regions experienced diminished value and curtailed production. Other losses accrue as a result of the need to reconstruct the damaged properties.
Going by NWFP report, it is estimated that the direct damages incurred were 2.3 billion US dollars. The largest component was private housing, followed by transport and education. The estimate for the indirect losses that resulted from the direct damage was estimated at 576 US dollars. In the economic sector these losses were equally high for the livestock and agriculture as well as it was for services industry sector. The reconstruction costs were estimated to be 3.5 billion US dollars and were valued at a rate of improved standard replacement.

Science for a changing world,. (2016). M7.5 – 45 E of Farkfar, Afghanistan.

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