At Least 13 Killed After Powerful Earthquake Shakes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India

    At Least 13 Killed After Powerful Earthquake Shakes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
    Last updated Mar 22, 2023
    Image credit: aljazeera


    • On Tuesday night, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region near the remote northern Afghan province of Badakhshan, killing four people and injuring over 70.[1]
    • The quake also claimed nine lives in northwest Pakistan, where it also caused landslides, damaged buildings, and left over 200 injured, forcing hospitals in the region to declare a state of emergency.[2]
    • Pakistan's Meteorological Department put the magnitude slightly higher at 6.8 and later reported the occurrence of a 3.7 magnitude aftershock along the border with Afghanistan.[2]
    • According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake happened about 194 km (120.5 miles) below the earth's surface, explaining why shaking was felt as far as India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.[3]
    • Authorities in Afghanistan fear the number of fatalities may climb, as some of mountainous Badakhshan's remote villages can be difficult to reach as many residents do not have access to phones or the internet, so reports of fatalities in those areas may be delayed.[1]
    • This news comes less than a year after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Afghanistan, claiming more than 1K lives.[4]


    Narrative A

    Afghanistan has a long history of earthquakes, many of which occur in the mountainous Hindu Kush region that borders Pakistan. Afghanistan and the larger part of south Asia along the Hindu Kush mountains are seismically active because two tectonic plates — known as the Indian and Eurasian plates — are pushing into each other. Not much can be done to protect the country and its neighbors from this unfortunate geographical feature which puts the lives of those living in the area at risk.

    Narrative B

    People don't usually associate earthquakes with climate change, but they are intimately connected. Scientists are warning that the impacts of global warming could make earthquakes more damaging and deadly. The climate crisis may not directly cause earthquakes, but it has caused more extreme weather over the years, and it's this intensity that puts stress on fault lines. By doing more about climate change, it is possible that this aggravating factor of the severity of quakes could be tempered in the future.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 83K will die as a result of the most deadly earthquake between 2020-2029, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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