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Western Afghanistan hit by fourth M6.3 earthquake since October 7

western afghanistan earthquakes october 7 - 15 2023 location map f

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.3 at 03:36 UTC (08:06 local time) on October 15, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 8 km (5 miles). This region of Afghanistan was hit by a total 4 of M6.3 earthquakes (USGS) since October 7 when twin M6.3s killed more than 2 400 people.

The epicenter was located 30.2 km (18.7 miles) NNW of Herāt (population 574 300), 41.2 km (25.6 miles) N of Chahār Burj (population 11 935), 44.7 km (27.8 miles) NE of Zindah Jān (population 10 104), Herat, Afghanistan.

There were no immediate official reports of possible casualties or damage.

The USGS issued an Orange alert for shaking-related fatalities. Significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national 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.

This region of Afghanistan was hit by a total 4 of M6.3 earthquakes (USGS) since October 7 when twin M6.3s killed more than 2 400 people. According to UNICEF, more than 90% of those who died were women and children.

The quakes flattened entire villages, hundreds of mud-brick stones, schools, health clinics, and other buildings.

An AFP reporter in Herat city said most residents are still sleeping outside.

The quakes were followed by dust storms which damaged the tents survivors were living in.

western afghanistan m6.3 earthquake october 15 2023 location map
Western Afghanistan earthquake – October 15, 2023. Credit: TW/SAM, Google
western afghanistan earthquakes october 7 - 15 2023 location map
Western Afghanistan earthquakes – October 7 – 15, 2023. Credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

western afghanistan m6.3 earthquake october 15 2023 usgs epe
western afghanistan m6.3 earthquake october 15 2023 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

western afghanistan m6.3 earthquake october 15 2023 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

western afghanistan m6.3 earthquake october 15 2023 emsc regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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