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M5.5 Safed Koh Mountains region, 2009


16 April 2009


NE of Morqa, Nangarhar


21:27:52 UTC (01:57:52 AT)  


34.201 N (NEIC)


70.065 E (NEIC)


5.7 kms (NEIC)


Mw 5.5 (NEIC); Ms 5.7 (GSR)

Additional Info

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A moderate earthquake (M5.0-5.9 termed as "moderate") occurred in the Safed Koh Mountains in Nangarhar Province's Sherzad district, Afghanistan, on 16 April 2009 at 01:57 AM local time in Afghanistan. It had a magnitude of Mb=5.5 (red star). This was followed by Mb=5.1 (pink star) earthquake at 04:12 AM local time in Afghanistan. Both earthquakes resulted in damage and fatalities in the region.

If you felt this earthquake please take the time to fill out a felt report questionnaire.

The earthquake at 01:57 local time was centred 2.3 kms NE of Morqa (Nangarhar), Afghanistan,
10 kms W of Wazir (Nangarhar), Afghanistan,
21.5 kms N of Mount Sikaram (F.A.T.A.), Pakistan,
37 kms N of Parachinar (F.A.T.A.), Pakistan,
41.6 kms SW of Jalalabad (Nangarhar), Afghanistan,
82 kms ESE of Kabul (Kabol), Afghanistan,
105 kms NNW of Thal (N.W.F.P.), Pakistan,
120 kms WNW of Hangu (N.W.F.P.), Pakistan,
136 kms W of Peshawar (N.W.F.P.), Pakistan,
168 kms NE of Ghazni (Ghazni), Afghanistan
283 kms WNW of Islamabad (F.C.A.), Pakistan.

At least 19 people were killed and 37 injured with as many as 370 buildings damaged (50 completely destroyed) in Nangarhar province's Sherzad district. Damage is believed to be the greatest at Khodi Khel and Sargad Khel in Sherzad district. Damage was also reported from Bhezad Khel, Mili Khel and Mir Gadkhel, Sarkout, Shorla Khel and To To, also in Sherzad district. The mainshock at 01:57 AM local time  (21:27 UTC) was followed by a Mb=5.1 aftershock at 04:12 AM local time (23:42 UTC) in Afghanistan that caused further damage and casualties. Several people who went outdoors after the first earthquake returned to their damaged homes that then collapsed in the second earthquake.

This earthquake at 01:57 AM local time (21:27 UTC) was felt in parts of eastern Afghanistan including at Kabul. It was also felt in parts of northern Pakistan including at Islamabad and Rawalpindi as well as at Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir, India. Tremors were also perceptible as far as Delhi, India.

A Mw=5.9 earthquake on 6 October 2008 to the west of this immediate region was felt in Kabul but further details regarding damage or casualties were unavailable at the time. A Mw=6.0 earthquake on 11 February 1999 killed at least 70 people and caused damage in Lowgar and Vardak provinces including at Kabul. It was also felt at Peshawar as well as far as Islamabad in Pakistan.

01) National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC), Golden, USA.
Geophysical Survey of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Obninsk, Russia.
) Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution (HRV), Harvard, USA.
04) International Seismological Centre (ISC), Berkshire, U.K.

05) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Page Updated: 19 Apr 2009 | Website Disclaimer

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