Shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocks Kabul: USGS

A view of Kabul, which was shaken by a shallow 4.6 magnitude earthquake on Monday, the USGS said (AFP Photo/WAKIL KOHSAR)
A view of Kabul, which was shaken by a shallow 4.6 magnitude earthquake on Monday, the USGS said (AFP Photo/WAKIL KOHSAR)

A shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Kabul on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, sending crowds into the streets of the Afghan capital.

The quake shook Kabul at 8:36 pm (1606 GMT) with such violence that some residents at first thought it was a new explosion in the war-torn city.

Despite the intensity of the jolt, there were no reports of any injuries or significant damage in the hours afterward.

The USGS assessed the quake's depth at 7.5 kilometres, making it a shallow temblor, and put its epicentre in Paghman district of Kabul province, less than 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the capital.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

In May 2018, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded in northern Afghanistan and felt as far away as Islamabad and Dushanbe.

In October 2015, a devastating 7.5-magnitude quake killed nearly 400 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Aid agencies have regularly stressed the need for greater disaster preparedness in Afghanistan, which remains extremely susceptible to recurring earthquakes, floods and landslides.