Afghanistan suffered its strongest earthquake in more than six decades on Monday, butthe full scope of the damage is not yet clear because the worstaffected areas are not easily accessible, according to Boston-basedcatastrophe modeling company AIR Worldwide.

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A 7.5 magnitude quake struck 158 miles north of the Afghancapital at a depth of 132 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.It was the first major temblor in the region since April, whena 7.8earthquake in Nepal killed more than 8,000 people andtriggered deadly avalanches on Mount Everest.

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The quake caused landslides, disrupted mobile phone networks andcaused houses to collapse in Pakistan, according to news reports.At least 228 people were killed in Pakistan, and more than 1,000injured, the Associated Press reported. In Afghanistan, officialssaid 33 died with more than 200 casualties, according to AP.

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Area vulnerable

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The majority of the local buildings are mud brick, or adobe,which is one of most vulnerable building construction types,according to AIR Worldwide. Other popular building constructiontypes in the region include unreinforced masonry and somereinforced concrete. Much of the building stock in the affectedregion is not built to standard because of a lack of codeenforcement and code compliance practices, AIR said.

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Because of exceedingly low penetration of insurance in theaffected region, AIR said it does not expect significant insuredlosses from the earthquake.

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Related: Nepalquake could cost more than $2B, but less than 1% isinsured

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The South Asia region has a history of catastrophic earthquakesbecause the tectonic plate that carries the Indian subcontinent ispushing northward into the main Asian plate. The 7.5-magnitudeearthquake is the biggest to hit Afghanistan since 1949, accordingto USGS data.

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“This earthquake occurred at the location where large historicearthquakes of magnitude 7 to 7.5 have repeatedly occurred in thelast 100 years, with five earthquakes of magnitude larger than 7.3within a radius of about 60 kilometers and in the depth range of200 to 240 kilometers. It seems a hotbed of seismogenic source oflarge earthquakes at this unusual depth along the boundary of twocontinental plates,” said Gerald Galgana, a scientist at AIRWorldwide. “The exact cause of this type of deep earthquake,however, is still not well understood.”

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Bloomberg contributed to this story.

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Related: How to protect your property and business fromearthquakes

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