Afghanistan – 2 strong earthquakes hit a populated area! 71 fatalities due to landslide

Last update: June 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm by By

Earthquake overview :  A strong earthquake has occurred near to populated areas in Baghlan. Some damage is expected.
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On 6/11/2012 5:02:17 AM UTC (about 09:32h local time) an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 occurred in the highly populated region of Baghlan in Afghanistan. The earthquake happened 169km from Kabul.

27 minutes later, a stronger shallower earthquake has occurred. Most people would have been out of their house by the second quake, reducing casualty potential.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 09:30 UTC – 18th June 2012: The search party has been officially called off.

71 fatalities have occurred in the town and it will remain buried as a mass grave.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 18:30 UTC – Day 2 – 12th June 2012: Good news – officials on site have calculated that only around 50 are buried rather than the 100-140 calculated previously. This is still of course an unfortunate death toll.

The landslide area and the houses damaged

Landslide bodies mourned

IMPORTANT UPDATE 11:30 UTC – Day 2 – 12th June 2012 :
Jawed Basharat has said that “A massive landslide of mud and rocks buried houses so deep in the remote mountain village of Sayi Hazara that rescuers have given up trying to use shovels to dig through the buried buildings. There were no visible signs of the buildings underneath.
- Bulldozers and other machinery is needed to remove the earth and get the bodies out – or the survivors if any. – Rescuers only currently have 1 bulldozer.
- They knew how many houses were buried only from information provided by area residents, who said between 25 and 30 houses disappeared in the landslide.
- 5 bodies have been found as of now.
- United Nations has said that it was helping Afghanistan authorities in the area to determine what aid was needed.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 15:30 UTC :
- at least 80 are presumed dead in a yungay 1970 style landslide. This total could be up to 140 depending on the population in the 20+ buildings covered.
- Rescuers have so far pulled two bodies of women from the rubble of the landslide in Baghlan province and expect many others were buried.
- Afghanistan officials said on Monday that some 70 people were trapped in rubble after mud houses collapsed from two strong earthquakes. Landslides typically cause many deaths from earthquakes.
- The U.N. confirmed one other death and said houses were destroyed across five districts.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 13:30 UTC :
- 3 people have been confirmed dead so far
- More than 20 houses have been buried in a landslide .
- some mud houses have been severely damaged
- Afghan SAR forces are searching the rubble to find corpses and even more survivors of the earthquake.
- Similar earthquakes in the past have also been devastating and caused a lot of fatalities
- 10 houses had been destroyed in Ishkamish district in neighbouring Takhar province. No news of injured or death from this area.

UPDATE: The earthquake has been felt III in Kabul, and III-IV in Bagram Airfield (about 120-130km from the earthquake epicenter)

UPDATE: We hope to get some confirmation from military forces in the area as to the effects of this earthquake.

UPDATE: 50 deaths and 150 injuries were seen from a 2002 earthquake occurring very close to the present epicenter with Mw5.8. Almost 1200 fatalities were also seen from the 25 March 2002 event.  (The number of fatalities in this earthquake was uncertain due to political situation in Afghanistan at the time of the earthquake. However, United Nations figures estimate approximately 1,200 fatalities in the Nahrin region with at least 100 deaths in the town of Nahrin itself. Another 7,000 people were injured and more than 20,000 were rendered homeless. Many of the injured were flown out by helicopter to the neighbouring towns of Baghlan and Pol-e Khomri.) – ASC-India.

UPDATE: The CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database has seen over16 damaging earthquakes within 100km of the epicenter since 1900. An earthquake in 1972 in Baghlan of Mw6.4, a destructive earthquake in north Afghanistan occurred. It destroyed approximately 7,000 houses, killing 450 and injuring 3,000 people in the Baghlan district. The shock caused serious damage and loss of life in the coal mines in the district. The earthquake was felt as far as Tashkent, Murgab and Tarbela, over an area of a radius of 520 km.

UPDATE: The earthquake was felt strongly in Baghlan Province. PAGER is indicating only a 35% chance of fatalities.

An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 occurred in the highly populated region of Baghlan in Afghanistan. The earthquake happened 173km from Kabol. The nearest populated places are: Gavmordeh (12km), Wuch (15km), Daragi (17km), Pashakhana (7km), Godri (5km), Gozar-e Langar (18km), Nahrin (17km), Safedreg (18km), Saqaw (13km), Chashmeh-ye Rabat (13km), Gawmurda (14km), Larak (10km), Akakhel (17km). The closest civilian airport is Kunduz (74km).

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 1st- 5.4 Mb AND 2nd- 5.6 Mw
UTC Time : 05:02:17AM, Monday, June 11th, 2012 AND 05:29:14AM, Monday, June 11th, 2012
Local time at epicenter : 09:32:17AM, Monday, June 11th, 2012 AND 09:59:14AM, Monday, June 11th, 2012
Depth (Hypocenter) : 49km (USGS) AND 31km (USGS)
Geo-location(s) : The nearest populated places are: Yakhpaj (19km), Khoshkak (17km), Gavmordeh (8km), Wuch (14km), Daragi (14km), Pashakhana (6km), Godri (2km), Gozar-e Langar (19km), Nahrin (15km), Aqsay (20km), Saqaw (13km), Chashmeh-ye Rabat (16km), Gawmurda (16km), Larak (13km), Akakhel (20km). The closest civilian airport is Kunduz (77km).

Links to important maps (data from strongest earthquake)
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Scientific parameters
Human impact map

Click here for examples of our “earthquake notifications (button below)”

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 08:32 4.4 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 08:32 4.3 20 MAP I Felt It
USGS Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 08:32 4.2 10 MAP I Felt It
USGS Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:29 5.7 15 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:29 5.7 10 MAP I Felt It
  • Bagram AB, Afghanistan - I was awoken twice with my bed shaking lightly. It was less dramatic than the N. Virginia quake I experienced last August.
  • EMSC Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:29 5.7 30 MAP I Felt It
  • Kabul - office was shaking
  • Kabul - Felt the shake which stops in 2 secs then start again. Felt table are shaking and movement of chair
  • Kabul - Awareness up following earthquake of 2-3 seconds duration 30 minutes earlier - this one was much more pronounced here in Kabul, lasting, in two waves of rocking, probably 8 or more seconds. Swaying of coat stand, but nothing in our office falling off of shelves.
  • Jalalabad, Afghanistan - Very weak here, those sitting felt it but standing did not, lasted 5-8 sec
  • Kabul - I felt the building moving forwards and backwards, for 5 seconds or so
  • Kabul International Airport - Very weak shaking reported
  • Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - Slight side-to-side shaking; no more vibration than when road compactor travels near area.
  • Mazar-eSharif - I felt it. BUt I think it was more intense in Pol-e Khomori.
  • Kabul - it was very strong and thanks my Allah to save me in 6th floor near the window in kabul baraki 4 squar. for 3th time in a same 10 min 10:00am
  • Bagram Afghanistan - I felt the whole building shaking and then went outside to see if there was something going on.
  • Kabul - Noticed twince, once ligh and the second time it was moderate just made me scared....
  • Kunduz - Felt as if riding on a bumpy road at very slow speed.
  • Kabul - Just enough to move things around.
  • Khorog - Lasted at least for 20 seconds.
  • EMSC Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:02 5.4 40 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:02 5.4 15 MAP I Felt It
  • Kabul Afghanistan - Light shaking reported
  • Kabul - about 3 secs shake
  • Kunduz - took about 5 seconds at 9:30 local and about 20 seconds at 9:55 local lamps where swinging. no damges observed
  • Bagram Airfield - I felt the first one around 9:40; kind of a 'slow roller'- nothing too significant. However, another quake just occured around 10:00, which had a sharp jolt and strong 'rock&roll' effects that lasted approximately 12-15 seconds.
  • Kabul - Light shaking indicated
  • Bagram AFB - Felt chair shaking in Office and saw monitor moving.
  • Bagram Airfield - Deployed to Afganistan, Sitting in my room watching tv when the room began to shake, couldn't believe it at first, had to look up if we actually had an earthquake in the region.
  • Amritsar, Punjab, India - We were in office and the water bottles besides us started shaking. Everyone's heart is filled with terror.
  • kabul - earth quake around 10 am drop down TV from Desk at AGS fifth floor
  • GEOFON Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan Jun 11 05:02 5.4 10 MAP I Felt It

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    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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