Disasters & Accidents

Powerful earthquake hits Afghanistan, tremor felt in Pakistan, India

Kabul, Mar 21 (EFE).- A magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook northeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday night, near the border with Pakistan, Tajikistan and China.

The tremor was recorded at 22:17, its epicenter about 40 kilometers from the town of Jurm, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, close to the Hindu Kush mountain range, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The quake was strongly felt some 300 kilometers away in the Afghan capital Kabul, where many residents rushed out of their homes fearing possible landslides. It was also felt in Pakistan and northern India.

So far no casualties have been reported, Taliban government spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter, although the health ministry has ordered all medical centers to be on alert.

There was slight damage to some houses in Takhar province, bordering Badakhshan, the regional disaster management director Mohammad Kamgar told Efe.

The Afghan Hindu Kush area is a center of high seismic activity.

At the end of last June, a similar earthquake of magnitude 5.9 in the eastern provinces of Paktika and Khost, bordering Pakistan, killed more than 1,000 people and injured some 1,500, as well as destroying hundreds of homes.

In February 1998, two earthquakes of magnitude 5.9 and 6 killed some 4,000 people in northern Afghanistan. A few months later, at the end of May, another, stronger tremor of magnitude 7 shook the area again, causing some 5,000 deaths. EFE


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