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Earthquake in Delhi : Tremors Felt in Delhi-NCR and North India as 5.8 Magnitude Quake Jolts Afghanistan


On a fateful Saturday evening, another earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan, registering a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale. As the tremors reverberated through the earth, they were felt in various parts of North India, including Delhi and its adjoining areas. Thankfully, the quake, centered around Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan, did not cause any damage in the affected regions. This incident follows the memory of a previous 6.6 magnitude earthquake that originated in the same area on March 21, which also sent strong tremors across northern India.

Earthquake Characteristics and Their Impact:

The depth at which these earthquakes originated was a crucial factor in determining the extent of their impact. Both the March 21 earthquake and the recent one on Saturday originated deep below the earth’s surface, with the latter having a focal depth of over 200 km, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website. Deep earthquakes, even if they are powerful, tend to dissipate a substantial amount of energy before reaching the surface, hence reducing their potential to cause significant damage in far-away locations like India.

Deep earthquakes, due to their profound focal depths, can be felt over vast distances, as the tremors radiate outwards from the epicenter. The Jurm area in Afghanistan, more than 1,000 km away from Delhi, experienced the recent earthquake, demonstrating the far-reaching effects of deep seismic events. While the tremors may be perceptible in distant regions, the energy dissipation along the long propagation path often renders them less destructive than shallower earthquakes.

Earthquake-Prone Regions in Afghanistan:

Northeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Tajikistan and Pakistan, is an earthquake-prone area with a history of frequent seismic activity. It routinely experiences earthquakes with magnitudes of 6 or above, and on the day of the recent 5.8 magnitude quake, it encountered five tremors with magnitudes of 4 and above. The geographical proximity of the Hindu Kush region to northern India amplifies the seismic effects, making India susceptible to feeling the tremors of earthquakes originating there.

The National Center for Seismology reported the magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Afghanistan. The incident occurred at 9:31 pm and had a depth of 181 km. The epicenter was pinpointed at 36.38 degrees north latitude and 70.77 degrees east longitude in the Hindu Kush region. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of casualties or injuries, as the earthquake’s depth likely mitigated its potential to cause severe damage.

Impact in India:

The tremors from the earthquake were felt in Delhi and other parts of North India, including Jammu & Kashmir. Many residents experienced the unsettling movement, but no significant damage was reported. The occurrence of the earthquake twice on the same day, first in Afghanistan and then in Jammu and Kashmir with a 5.2 magnitude, brought the region’s vulnerability to seismic events to the forefront once again.

Afghanistan’s Seismic Activity:

Afghanistan has been no stranger to seismic activity, experiencing numerous earthquakes that have claimed many lives over the years. On average, the country witnesses around 560 deaths annually due to earthquakes, and during the past decade, more than 7,000 lives have been lost to these natural disasters. The combination of geographical location, tectonic movements, and deep earthquakes makes Afghanistan prone to such seismic events.

The recent earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 originating in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan sent tremors that reverberated across northern India, including Delhi-NCR and Jammu & Kashmir. Thanks to its deep focal depth, the earthquake’s ability to cause severe damage in far-away locations was limited. However, it serves as a stark reminder of the need for earthquake preparedness in both Afghanistan and India, especially in regions prone to seismic activity. Continuous monitoring, early warning systems, and public awareness campaigns can help mitigate the impact of future earthquakes and save lives.

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