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Why is Afghanistan Prone to Earthquakes?

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Earthquake in Afghanistan

  • Context (BBC | IE | TH): Powerful earthquakes in Afghanistan claimed thousands of lives.

Why is Afghanistan Prone to Earthquakes?

Alpide Belt (or Alpine-Himalayan Orogenic Belt)

Location in Alpide Belt (or Alpine-Himalayan Orogenic Belt)

  • Afghanistan is earthquake-prone as it is located in the Hindu Kush region, part of the Alpide belt.
  • The Alpide belt is the second most seismically active region globally, after the circum-Pacific belt.
  • It is a young mountain belt that runs from the Atlantic to the Himalayas.
  • The Alpide belt formed when the Tethys Ocean closed due to the collision of the African, Arabian, and Indian Plates with the Eurasian Plate.
  • The collision of the plates along the convergent plate boundary results in frequent seismic activities.


  • A faultline is a line on a rock surface or the ground that traces a geological fault.
  • A fault is a fracture in the Earth’s crust where two blocks of rock moves relative to each other.
  • If the rock blocks move rapidly, it releases energy which causes earthquakes.
  • One of the factors due to which fault occurs is plate collision.
  • Afghanistan is located on top of a number of fault lines where the Indian and Eurasian plates meet.

Fault lines Afghanistan

For details on Earthquake and Plate Tectonics > PMF IAS Physical Geography

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