At least 18 people died, dozens sustained injuries and many homes were destroyed when a powerful 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan, officials said.
At least 18 people were killed in adjacent Nangarhar and Kunar
provinces and the death toll was expected to rise, Reuters
reported citing a spokesman for the Afghan Red Crescent
In Nangarhar province 75 were injured, local
spokesperson Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said. Forty of the wounded were
given first aid, and the rest were admitted to hospital for further
"We are still in the process of getting information from the
affected areas. Among the dead are some children," AFP quoted
Abdulzai as saying.
One person was killed and one was injured in neighboring Kunar
province, where hundreds of homes collapsed, provincial governor
spokesperson Wasifullah Wasifi said, as cited by Reuters.
Resident fled their destroyed homes in the worst-hit areas after
the 5.7-magnitude quake struck northeastern Afghanistan, the US
Geological Survey reported. The resulting tremors were felt
as far away as India’s capital New Delhi.
The epicenter of the quake was 11km south of the town of Mehtar
Lam, the US Geological Survey reported. The city of Jalalabad,
which has a population of more than 200,000, is also nearby, some
25km southwest of the epicenter. The quake was estimated to
have struck at a depth of 65km.
The quake zone lies near Afghanistan’s border with
Pakistan. Pakistan’s meteorological department rated the
earthquake’s magnitude higher, at 6.2 on the Richter scale.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
In Kama district outside Jalalabad, people ran from their mudbrick homes in panic when the tremor was felt, a witness told AFP. Two walls in one village collapsed.
Tremors were felt in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, some 300km
east of the epicenter.
The quake also shook regions
further southeast, in India’s disputed province of Kashmir and in
the capital New Dehli, Reuters reported.
The region witnessed a powerful quake last week, when a 7.8 magnitude tremor hit eastern Iran and western Pakistan. The disaster killed 41 people.
Also on Wednesday 14 people died in northern Afghanistan where
flash floods hit Balkh province. Five people were missing, 1,795
families were displaced from their homes, and many houses and
livestock destroyed in the remote districts of Kishindih, Sholgara
and Nahri Shai, AP reported citing two local officials. According
to the UN, major roads in Balkh were closed because of the
"All of our livestock and homes were destroyed," Ghulam
Sakhi, a resident of a village in Sholgara district, told AP
Television News. "The flooding was so strong we couldn't do
Heavy rains caused similar flash floods in Sari Pul, the
neighbouring province to the south, damaging more than 100 homes,
according to the United Nations.