More Than 250 Dead, 150 Injured In Paktika Province


A strong earthquake killed at least 300 people in Afghanistan, Afghan officials speaking to news agencies said.

State-run Bakhtar News Agency said more than 600 people were injured in the earthquake and cited officials who said the tally is likely to rise.

The Paktika province was among the most affected as pictures and videos of people being stretchered off to hospitals and ruined buildings flooded social media.

Afghan ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay told News18 he also suspects close to 300 deaths in the earthquake which struck in the wee hours of Wednesday morning

They expect the death toll to rise.

The epicenter of the earthquake was 44 kilometers from the city of Khost in Afghanistan’s southeast.

The tremors of the magnitude 6.1 quake was felt across Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan and their respective capitals Kabul and Islamabad.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center told news agency Reuters that tremors were also felt in India.

“Unfortunately, last night there was a severe earthquake in four districts of Paktika province, which killed and injured hundreds of our countrymen and destroyed dozens of houses,” Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesperson for the Taliban-led government said.

“We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe,” he further added.

The earthquake hit in the wee hours of early morning when most people were asleep.

Earlier in January, an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 on the Richter scale hit Afghanistan’s Herat killing more than 28 people.

With the death toll inching towards 300, this is the most devastating earthquake to have hit Afghanistan after 2015 when 399 people died after an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale hit the nation’s Hindu Kush mountain range.

Afghanistan also witnessed more than thousand deaths in March 2002 when an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Baghlan and Nahrin regions in the Hindu Kush.

Afghanistan also witnessed more than thousand deaths in March 2002 when an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Baghlan and Nahrin regions in the Hindu Kush.

The most devastating earthquakes hit Afghanistan in the year 1998 when two separate earthquakes struck Rostaq (5.9 magnitude on the Richter scale) and Badakhshan (6.6 magnitude on the Richter scale) between February and May killing more than 7,000 people.

The nation’s geographical location – Afghanistan is located in a seismically active region, over a number of fault lines including the Chaman fault, the Hari Rud fault, the Central Badakhshan fault and the Darvaz fault – also contributes to the severity of the earthquakes when they occur.

Rural areas of Afghanistan where houses are not stably built are among those which suffer the most when earthquakes strike.

(with inputs from agencies)

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