A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.3 hit western Afghanistan at 00:41 UTC (05:10 local time) on October 11, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 9 km (5.6 miles). This is the third M6.3 earthquake to hit this area of Afghanistan since twin M6.3s on October 7 in which more than 2 400 people lost their lives.
The epicenter was located 27.2 km (16.9 miles) NNW of Herāt (population 574 300), 36.2 km (22.5 miles) NE of Zindah Jān (population 10 104), and 37.2 km (23.1 miles) NNW of Chahār Burj (population 11 935), Herat, Afghanistan.
4 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 373 000 very strong, 900 000 strong, 606 000 moderate, and 2 295 000 light.
The USGS issued a Red alert for shaking-related fatalities. High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response.
A Yellow alert was issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Afghanistan.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and unreinforced brick with mud and timber post construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
The quake followed extremely damaging twin M6.3 earthquakes on October 7 in which more than 2 400 people lost their lives and more than 2 000 were injured.
Some districts adjoining areas that had been completely flattened by earlier quakes had suffered huge losses, Herat’s governor’s office said in a statement.
Health officials said more than 100 people were injured.
The full impact of the latest quake is still not clear. Many people were still sleeping outside when the quake hit.
🚨Breaking: #Afghanistan was hit by another 6.3 magnitude earthquake this morning, shaking parts of the Western region where the earlier #HeratEarthquake killed over 2000 people.— World Food Programme in Afghanistan (@WFP_Afghanistan) October 11, 2023
WFP is on the ground providing emergency food assistance to the affected communities. pic.twitter.com/xOpLEuFTWp
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
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