Afghanistan: Badakhshan Earthquake Flash Update No. 1 – 27 December 2015


A 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Afghanistan on 25 December at 23:44 (UTC+04:30) local time. The epicenter was in Zebak district, Badakhshan province in the North East Region, at a depth of 203.4 km. Approximately 793,404 people live within 100km of the epicenter. The impact was felt across the North and East of Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul, and as far as Pakistan and India. The North Eastern and Eastern Regions of Afghanistan were most affected, with Badakhshan being the worst affected province. The earthquake’s impact is considered moderate.

North East Region: Initial reports indicate that 12 people have been injured and 1,269 houses damaged, subject to verification, including 1,242 houses reportedly damaged in Shuhada and Baharak districts of Badakhshan. Injured people have received medical treatment. A joint assessment team has deployed to the affected areas, which are difficult to reach owing to high altitude, remoteness and current winter conditions.

Eastern Region: Damage reports are minimal with 50 families reportedly affected, 15 people injured and 13 houses damaged across Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces. No deaths have been reported. Joint assessment teams have been deployed for verification.

Central Region: No destruction or loss was recorded in Central Region, with the exception of three damaged houses in Parwan Province.

IOM is leading on rapid needs assessments, having mobilized teams and NFI stocks in the affected provinces. On 26 December, the Afghan Government reviewed earthquake assistance needs during a National Disaster Management Commission meeting and mobilized relief stocks. Humanitarian teams have mobilized both teams and stocks, and are participating in search and rescue efforts, and rapid needs assessments.

The response currently seems to be manageable at the regional and provincial levels, with the option of mobilizing additional stocks from the national level. No request for international support has yet been received from the Afghan government.

The earthquake struck in many of the same areas as the 7.5 magnitude earthquake which hit Badakhshan Province on 26 October. Current OCHA Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) partners are already covering the majority of affected areas as per the previous earthquake funding allocation; partners have been requested to provide updated damage and needs information with the potential to expand existing responses to encompass new people in need. No major gap in partner presence or funding is expected at this time.

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Afghanistan stand ready to support the ongoing efforts of the government to assess and respond to the people impacted by the earthquake.
This report follows the initial situation update from 26 December. The next Flash Update will be distributed on or around 28 December, depending on emerging information.

Eveline Viehboeck, Head of Sub-Office, OCHA Mazar-e-Sharif, North/North East Regions, Afghanistan,, +93(0)795878705 – for regional level information and coordination.

Kristin Pristupa, Cluster Coordination Unit, OCHA Kabul, Afghanistan,, +93(0)793001137 – for national level information and coordination.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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