On Monday October 26, 2015 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan. The type of earthquake that hit the Hindu Kush mountain range is not very well understood by scientists. This is a strange phenomenon because the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) classifies the site as “one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth.”
The earthquake caused major destruction throughout northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan. It triggered landslides that destroyed homes and businesses and killed more than 100 people.
The lack of information that geologists are able to get about the earthquake is due to the remoteness of the epicenter, in the Hindu Kush mountain range. The USGS also says that complications in understanding this natural disaster are because the earthquake happened 130 miles underground, leaving this earthquake a mystery.
According to geologists, most earthquakes are a response to tectonic plates rubbing together, but Monday’s event happened much deeper than most earthquakes. Greg Beroza, a geophyisist at Stanford University, says that earthquakes that happen at very deep depths should cause the rocks to deform instead of break rapidly causing seismic waves.
It would be very beneficial for scientists to work on finding more information about the Hindu Kush range. According to the USGS, seven out of the sixteen strongest earthquakes in the world have occurred within 155 miles of the Hindu Kush. The more information scientists find out about this seismically hazardous region, the more likely they may be to predict earthquakes in the future and save numerous lives, homes, and businesses.
^ A video made by the National Disaster Management Authority about earthquake precautionary measures in case of earthquakes and aftershock. (it was made after the earthquake hit on October 26th) [Sorry about the language barrier- video shows good footage of the aftermath of the natural disaster]