Earthquakes rock Afghanistan...
March 26, 2002 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Earthquakes rock Afghanistan... 20,000 are homeless, 4,000 injured, and 5,000 feared dead. The epicenter was about 90 miles north of Kabul.
posted by Kevin Sanders (15 comments total)
20,000 are homeless, 4,000 injured, and 5,000 feared dead.
yeah, but what were the effects of the earthquake?
posted by quonsar at 6:27 AM on March 26, 2002

So with a system to deliver large amounts of resources to almost any place in the country (i.e. the military), will the States help out or let them sit and suffer?
posted by holycola at 6:56 AM on March 26, 2002

"Earthquake." I think Art Bell will have something to say about this.
posted by Doug at 6:57 AM on March 26, 2002

"Earthquake" killing 5000 civilians in a country the US is at war with... a little TOO convenient?
posted by drgonzo at 6:59 AM on March 26, 2002

Clearly something went wrong with the doomsday earthquake device OBL is working on.


Poor Afghanis can't catch a break, can they?
posted by malphigian at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2002

It's not as if Afghanistan doesn't have a history of being tectonically unstable.
posted by darukaru at 7:24 AM on March 26, 2002

Here's a question:

Is there any way our daisy-cutter bombing could have any effect on the tectonic plates? I remember that explosion that apparently went on for hours, and think there must be *some* side effects from such a large scale of underground explosions.
posted by jragon at 8:33 AM on March 26, 2002

Call Michael Knight.
posted by Niahmas at 8:36 AM on March 26, 2002

That's it.
Time to bomb God.
posted by rhizome23 at 8:38 AM on March 26, 2002

Just want to point out something. 5000 people are feared dead in Afghanistan right now because of this eartquake and with the exception of one or two, most of the posts so far have had a flippant, even humorous tone.

Had the same thing happened in America and anyone cracked a joke people would have been all over the insensitivity and inhumanity of he perceived joker.

Let's be a little less hypocritical and alot more respectful people.
posted by samishah at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2002

speaking of inappropriate, check out this graphic from reuters/yahoo!news. just because they had to bang that out in a hurry is no reason to make it look like a panel from motherfucking prince valiant! that giant yellow 3-d lettering for 'hindukush'? that tasteless bullseye? (i understand, they were trying to make clear the diminishing effect as one moves away from the epicenter...but there has to be a better way of doing so. cnn's graphic has concentric rings but they look nothing like this reuters dartboard.) and, santa maria...that dropshadow textbox at the top?! what font is that? oblique idiocy? i'm not a designer, just a lay observer. but i'd have to think that there'll be one more lay observer joining me soon: the fella or lady who created this. man, it's bad. 'hmmmm, how should i create a graphical representation of an earthquake that killed five thousand people? i know, i'll draw a cartoon!'
posted by mlang at 12:09 PM on March 26, 2002

oh, and yes, the earthquake that precipitated the cartoon is a terrible tragedy too.
posted by mlang at 12:11 PM on March 26, 2002

*shakes fist*
posted by mlang at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2002

I agree with samisha. Not that we need to get all bleeding heart sensitive and crying over it, but logically, even a buck or two donated to a charity goes a long way in Afghanistan. This isnt a spam but Mercy Corps has always done good work in these types of situations.
posted by stbalbach at 1:18 PM on March 26, 2002

jragon: first of all, the daisy cutter fuel-air explosive -- used for clearing landing zones, or against entrenched ground formations -- isn't the same thing as the 'bunker buster' penetrator, though it has some similarities to the thermobaric bomb used near Gardez that sucks the air out of a cave system (a different way of using the same explosive effect). Second, the maximum explosive power of one of these is perhaps 5 kilotons, which is about the most power you can get out of any conventional weapon. But this is a mere third of the explosive power of the Hiroshima bomb, and a tiny fraction of the power of modern nuclear weapons.

Earthquakes, however, are the immediate and calamitous release of enormous amounts of stored energy as one part of the earth gets pushed up against another. A typical earthquake releases energy equivalent to thousands of kilotons; and it's important to realize that this energy was already created and stored up by the natural actions of the Earth, possibly over hundreds or thousands of years. It will be released; the only question is when. If we do assume that human activity could trigger an earthquake, we have to keep in mind that the event may only have been moved up.

Supposedly Howard Hughes was fearful that Nevada nuclear tests would trigger quakes near Las Vegas; and the Soviets were said to have looked at (probably only theoretically) the possibility of using nukes to trigger "early" earthquakes, on the theory that more frequent releases of quake energy will individually be less destructive.

And recently, the question of (nuclear) explosions triggering earthquakes, in Afghanistan no less, has been looked at seriously as in this USGS faq. The conclusion is that any explosive effects are very local, within a few tens of kilometers at most -- and that's for the much larger explosions of Indian or Pakistani nuclear devices.
posted by dhartung at 2:24 PM on March 26, 2002

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