According to US Geological (USGS), an earthquake of Mw 5.9 hits parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Wednesday, 22 June. The tremors were felt in Kabul and Islamabad as well. Nearly 1000 people died and 1500 were wounded. Thousands of people were displaced and their houses are destroyed by an earthquake in eastern Afghanistan in Paktika, Paktia and Khost provinces. Among them, Paktika province was most affected by the earthquake.
Time, duration, and depth of an earthquake
The earthquake wreaked havoc midnight at around 2:24 AM local time in a rural and mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan. The seismic signals show a drastic increase in amplitude with a lower wavelength. In the rupture process, the energy was released suddenly in a matter of just 3 seconds. In Mw 6 earthquakes, the rupture process lasts from 5 to 10 seconds on average. The earthquake occurred at depth of 4 km. The shallower the earthquake to the surface, the stronger the shaking. The epicenter was about 44km away from Khost city.
Magnitude 6.1 #earthquake in southern #Afghanistan exactly one hour ago (2022-06-21Z20:54). Absolutely extraordinary signal on station IU.KBL (Kabul, Afghanistan – obtained via @IRIS_EPO). Hopefully not too deadly or damaging.https://t.co/iCHAqFFBJ2 pic.twitter.com/V3Ng4oz2gQ— Dr. Steven J. Gibbons (@stevenjgibbons) June 21, 2022
Risk assessment and resilience
The rescuers still searching for victims under the rubble. It is reported that the whole household of 13 members lost their lives and one man lost 17 members of his family. This is the region where large families sleep and live together under one roof. Several members also sleep in one room due to their poverty and cannot afford separate rooms. This seems to be one of the reasons for the drastic increase in casualties. This region barely has any medical facilities and lacks infrastructure. Most of the houses in these villages were mud houses (adobe houses). Everyone was at home during the disaster and there was no chance of escape from it. Due to a lack of resilience to geo disasters, the casualties are likely to rise further from this horrendous earthquake tragedy.
The Afghan Defense Ministry has deployed helicopters to South-east Afghanistan to deliver aid and transport the injured to nearby hospitals. The people need urgent financial and healthcare support. Humanitarian aid should be provided by the world on an emergency basis. In disasters, everything that could go wrong, went totally wrong in this scenario.