At least 280 people were killed and more than 600 injured in a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika and Khost provinces on Wednesday as rescuers tried to locate anyone trapped. The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) put the magnitude at 6.1 although the United States Geological Survey (USGC) said it was 5.9.
The death toll so far from the earthquake is 280 dead and more than 600 injured, official sources told the Afghan state news agency Bakhtar on Wednesday. “The number of deaths is expected to rise,” the agency noted.RELATED
The earthquake occurred early this Wednesday morning, local time, and had its epicenter near the city of Khost, south of the capital, Kabul, as reported by the USGC, which also reported an aftershock 4.5 degrees.
In Kabul, 200 kilometers away, “strong and long shaking” have been felt, according to a resident of the capital posted on the EMSC website. Photographs published in the Afghan and local media outlets showed houses reduced to rubble.
Deaths have also been recorded in the eastern provinces of Khost and Nangarhar, said Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, head of the Taliban administration’s disaster management authority.
“A strong earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our compatriots and destroying dozens of houses,” ad
Images shared on social networks show numerous houses destroyed, and the Taliban government has already begun rescue efforts by sending aid, helicopters and medical supplies.
Pakistan’s meteorological department has put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.1 degrees. Tremors have also been felt in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, and elsewhere in the eastern province of Punjab. At the moment no material or personal damage has been reported in Pakistan.
Afghanistan is prone to earthquakes, especially in the area known as the Hindu Kush, which is highly seismically active and is the usual point of origin for telluric movements in the region.
In the middle of last January, another 5.3-magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Afghanistan, killing at least 26 people, according to UN data, and destroying 800 homes, mostly flimsy adobe houses, in different districts of the province. of Badghis.
Also in October 2015, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in the extreme northeast of the country left more than a hundred dead in Afghanistan and almost 300 dead in neighboring Pakistan, where more than 2,000 were also injured.