Written by on . Last updated April 16th, 2024.

Under land 210 kilometer from Kandahār in Afghanistan, a shallow and significant Magnitude 5.3 aftershock occurred in the night of Wednesday March 20th, 2024. Around 6.4 million people have been exposed to shaking. Pakistan is also near its epicenter.

Felt the earthquake? Share this article: Share on Facebook Tweet Submit to Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Afghanistan, 210 kilometer (130 mi) south of Kandahār in Kandahar. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 6 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Mar 20, 2024 02:27 (Karachi Time)
- Mar 19, 2024 21:27 Universal Time.
Location: 166 km WSW of Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan.
Coordinates 29°44'57"N 65°21'11"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.3
Detected by 10 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.098 .
Depth: 6 km (4 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
VII
Very Strong

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake, it appears to have occurred under land with a magnitude not strong enough to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Minimal impact predicted

Based on scientific estimates by the US Geographic Survey (USGS), the risk of high fatalities for this earthquake is classified at level GREEN (low). They expect an 65% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 fatalities, and a 96% chance that the number of fatalities falls no higher than 10.

The USGS classifies the economic impact of this earthquake at level GREEN (low). They expect an 65% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 million US Dollars in economic damage and impact, and a 96% chance that the economic impact of this earthquake falls no higher than 10 million USD.

Roughly 6.4 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 6.4 million have been exposed to shaking (An MMI or Modified Mercalli Intensity level II or higher) as a result of this earthquake according scientific estimates published by the USGS.

Moderate shaking and very light damage may have been experienced by an estimated 15,400 people. At V, it is the highest MMI level this earthquake has caused. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 5.8 million). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected.

People in 2 countries have been exposed to shaking. In Pakistan , around 5.6 million people, with impact levels up to V (moderate shaking, very light damage). In Afghanistan , around 0.8 million people.

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
269,700
II
Very weak None
5,796,000
III
Weak Probably none
310,900
IV
Light Likely none
15,400
V
Moderate Very light
0
VI
Strong Light
0
VII
Very Strong Moderate
0
VIII
Severe Moderate to heavy
0
IX
Violent Heavy
0
X
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

2 countries can be found within 300km of the epicenter of this earthquake: Pakistan and Afghanistan .

Nushki in Balochistan, Pakistan is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 68 kilometer (42 mi) west-northwest of Nushki. Nushki experienced an earthquake intensity (MMI Scale) of roughly IV. That level implies light shaking and likely no damage.

Major cities near this earthquake: Quetta is located 166 km to the east-northeast and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). Kandahār is located 210 km to the north (intensity unknown, possibly low). Khuzdar is located 248 km to the south-southeast (intensity unknown, possibly low).

An overview of nearby towns and cities is available in the overview below. If places don't have intensity data available, it likely means the experienced impact in those places was fairly small.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
68 km (42 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Nushki

Balochistan, Pakistan.
IV
Light
130 km (81 mi)
S from epicenter
Kharan

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
144 km (89 mi)
E from epicenter
Mastung

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
145 km (90 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Kalat

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
165 km (103 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Kot Malik Barkhurdar

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
166 km (103 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Quetta

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
167 km (104 mi)
NE from epicenter
Chaman

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
183 km (114 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Pishin

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
191 km (119 mi)
E from epicenter
Mach

Balochistan, Pakistan.
III
Weak
210 km (130 mi)
N from epicenter
Kandahār

Kandahar, Afghanistan.
224 km (139 mi)
E from epicenter
Dadhar

Balochistan, Pakistan.
226 km (140 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Lashkar Gāh

Helmand, Afghanistan.
242 km (150 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Gereshk

Helmand, Afghanistan.
245 km (152 mi)
E from epicenter
Sibi

Balochistan, Pakistan.
248 km (154 mi)
SSE from epicenter
Khuzdar

Balochistan, Pakistan.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The graph below overlays a map of the region around the epicenter with earthquake intensity data provided by the US Geographic Survey. The highest intensity level detected for this earthquake is VII.

I Not felt
II Weak
III Weak
IV Light
V Moderate
VI Strong
VII Very Strong
VIII Severe
IX Violent
X Extreme
Earthquake Intensity Map based on Shakemap Data provided by USGS.

Shaking reported by 14 people in 3 countries

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 14 people have reported shaking in 5 places in 3 countries (India, Afghanistan, Pakistan).We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Kandahar, Kandahār, Afghanistan: 5 people.
  • Kot Abdul Malik, Punjab, Pakistan: 4 people.
  • Chaman, Baluchistan, Pakistan: 2 people.
  • Nushki, Baluchistan, Pakistan: 2 people.
  • Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India: 1 person.

This is likely an aftershock

This earthquake was an aftershock. A larger mag. 5.5 earthquake struck 7 km (4 mi) south-southeast in advance of this 5.3 earthquake around 21 hrs earlier.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock M 5.5 Mar 19, 2024 05:35AM
(Karachi Time)
-
Aftershock
This Earthquake
M 5.3 21 hrs later
Mar 20, 2024 02:27AM (Karachi Time)
7 km (4 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.0 1 day later
Mar 20, 2024 09:19AM (Karachi Time)
48 km (30 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Detected MAG2.5+ earthquakes within within 100km (62 mi), that occurred in the three days before and after the main shock.

More earthquakes coming?

Earthquakes can create aftershocks. These are generally at least 1 magnitude lower than any main shock, and as time passes the chance and strength of aftershocks decreases.

In only six percent of cases, significant earthquakes are followed by a larger main shock, making the current earthquake a foreshock. While the chance of this happening is not so large, it is adviced to maintain cautiousness in the hours and days following a major earthquake.

Read: How to Stay Safe during an Earthquake (cdc.gov).

Earthquakes like this are common in the region

Earthquakes of this strength occur quite regularly in the region. In total, 10 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 or higher have been registered within 300km (186 mi) of this epicenter in the past 10 years. This comes down to an average of once every year.

Tsunami very unlikely

DISCLAIMER: We strongly suggest to closely monitor advice from local authorities with regards to tsunami risks. Our analysis is based on automatically collected data from external sources, and these might contain mistakes. In addition, earthquakes can cause landslides that may lead to a tsunami, or be a followed by another, potentially stonger, earthquake.

While MAG-6.5+ earthquakes may cause tsunami's, it appears that the epicenter of this earthquake hit under land. In addition, the reported depth is deeper than 100km, making the risk of a tsunami even less likely. However always stay cautious and monitor advice from local authorities.

Tsunami Risk Factors

Factor Under Sea? MAG-6.5 or stronger? Shallow depth?
Explanation Almost all tsunami's are caused by earthquakes with their epicenter under sea or very near the sea. However stay cautious in coastal areas as earthquakes on land may cause landslides into sea, potentially still causing a local tsunami. Under MAG 6.5: Very unlikely to cause a tsunami.
MAG 6.5 to 7.5: Destructive tsunami's do occur, but are uncommon. Likely to observe small sea level changes.
MAG 7.6+: Earthquakes with these magnitudes might produce destructive tsunami's.
Most destructive tsunami's are caused by shallow earthquakes with a depth between 0 and 100km under the surface of the earth. Deeper tsunami's are unlikely to displace to ocean floor.
This Earthquake Not this earthquake.
This earthquake appears to have struck on land far from any coast.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 6 km (4 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 16/04/24 10:38 (). This article is automatically generated based on available data. We keep checking multiple sources for additional information. This article gets updated as new details on this earthquake become available.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us6000mjux
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240319_0000234
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

Share this article: Share on Facebook Tweet Submit to Reddit Share on LinkedIn