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October 2015

Afghanistan, physiography

Afghanistan, physiography

On October 26, 2015, a Magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck 'Alaqahdari-ye Kiran wa Munjan, Afghanistan. The epicenter is 254 km (158 mi) northeast of Kabul and 76 km (47 mi) south of Faizabad, the capital of Badakshan Province. The earthquake occurred approximately 210 km below the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Afghanistan, located in southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan and east of Iran, is slightly smaller than Texas. Its climate is arid to semiarid, with cold winters and hot summers. The terrain of Afghanistan is mostly rugged mountains, with plains in the north and southwest. The natural resources of Afghanistan include: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones. The natural hazards facing the country are damaging earthquakes in the Hindu Kush mountains, flooding, and droughts.

Seven other magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes have occurred within 250 km of this event site. The most recent occurred in March 2002 (M 7.4) 20 km west of this site. The 2002 event cause over 150 fatalities and destroyed over 400 houses.

If you would like to learn more about this and other earthquakes, please visit the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program site.

CIA World Factbook; U.S. Geological Survey, 10/2015; 10/2015

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