Thursday, 11 September 2014

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake at a depth of 52.4 km in southeastern Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, slightly before 6.40 pm local time (slightly before 2.10 pm GMT) on Wednesday 10 September 2014). A quake of this Magnitude at this depth is unlikely to have casued any damage or injuries, but may have been felt locally. 

The approximate location of the 10 September 2014 Kunduz Province Earthquake. Google Maps.

Eastern Afghanistan lies close to the boundary between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which runs through northern Afghanistan. The Indian Plate is moving northward relative to the Eurasian Plate, causing folding and uplift along this boundary, which has led to the formation of the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, the Himalayas and the other mountain ranges of Central Asia., and which makes the nations in this boundary zone prone to Earthquakes.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations on Earth and has suffered decades of war. This means that few (if any) buildings in the country are protected against the effects of Earthquakes, with many buildings in the area made of mud brick, a building material considered particularly hazardous during quakes, as the bricks have a tendency to liquify, trapping and suffocating people inside. The poor state of the transport network within the country and low numbers of medical staff mean that people injured in quakes are more likely to die as a result of their injuries than in more developed nations, adding to the death toll during such events.

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