Afghanistan has faced widespread destruction from intense earthquakes over the years. In June 2012 more than 1000 people were killed when an earthquake of magnitude of 6.1 struck. In 1998 another earthquake in North East Afghanistan killed at least 4500 people.
How does earthquake occur?
The Earth is made up of chunks of solid rocks called tectonic plates. Discontinuities in these rock masses along which they have moved are called fault lines. These fractures are a result of tectonic forces and stress that builds up in the earth’s lithosphere causing the rocks to break and slip.
Tectonic plates are slow moving but are always in motion, mostly due to the heat energy?
generated inside the earth. The edges of these plates are called plate boundaries and consist of faults, this is where most earthquakes occur.
Why do frequent earthquakes occur in Afghanistan?
- Afghanistan is located over multiple fault lines in the region where Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. These plates collide often leading to significant tectonic activity.
- Afghanistan is located on the Eurasian plate.
- The Hindu Kush Mountain range and Pamir Knot are geologically complex region where the tectonic plates meet. This geological complexity contributes to the occurrence of earthquakes in the region.
- Afghanistan is also crisscrossed by various active fault systems like the Chaman fault and the main Pamir Thrust, these faults are source of many earthquakes in the region.