Afghanistan: 25 December Earthquake - OCHA Flash Update No. 3 (3 January 2016)

Kabul, Afghanistan


Verified reports from joint assessment teams tasked with assessing the impact of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Afghanistan on 25 December 2015 have confirmed that damage from the seismic event was much less severe than initially thought. Fifteen people were injured, 91 homes damaged and six homes destroyed in the earthquake, which affected 680 people in 22 districts, according to verified reports and initial reports received by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as of 3 January. An assessment team made up of representatives from the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and Directorate of Rural Rehabilitation and Development discovered on 29 December 2015 that at least four homes were damaged and 29 people affected in the remote district of Alikhel in Paktya Province. Injuries were highest in the eastern province of Nangarhar, where 13 (of the 15 in total) people were injured. Two people were injured in Kunar Province. Damage was most extensive in Takhar Province, where 45 homes were either damaged or destroyed. Previous reports erroneously attributed damage in Badakhshan Province to the 25 December 2015 earthquake. However, the damage had been caused by the more powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck north-eastern Afghanistan on 26 October 2015.


As of 3 January, joint assessment teams had reported minor damage in 14 of 22 earthquake-affected districts where assessments had been completed. Assessments were pending in remote districts in Laghman Province, where ANDMA is leading assessment and response efforts.

Response, Needs and Gaps:

Humanitarian actors at the provincial level are responding to needs related to the 25 December 2015 earthquake and no gaps in the earthquake response are expected. Food and non-food items continue to be the primary humanitarian needs. ANDMA is responding with food and non-food items (NFIs) in the provinces of Takhar and Baghlan as well as to the needs of quake-affected families in Nangarhar Province.

ANDMA also has committed to assisting families who are identified in need in Laghman Province. International Medical Corps is providing assistance in Kunar Province.

On 31 December 2015, ANDMA, ARCS and the UN Children’s Fund distributed food and NFIs to families in Parwan Province affected by the earthquake. ANDMA and ARCS have committed to providing assistance to affected families in Paktya Province.


ANDMA chaired an extraordinary Provincial Disaster Management Committee meeting on 28 December in Gardez, the capital of Paktya Province, which was attended by International Rescue Committee, the International Organization for Migration, ARCS, Ministry and Directorate of rural rehabilitation and development and OCHA.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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