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Afghan Earthquake: 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Afghanistan Killing 300 People

A powerful earthquake struck early in the morning near the town of Khost, south of Kabul.

Laavanya Arya
An earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing at least 255 people.
An earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing at least 255 people.

According to the country's official news agency, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck southeast Afghanistan, killing at least 300 people. The quake struck early Wednesday morning local time, near the town of Khost south of Kabul, according to the US Geological Survey.

At least 300 people were killed and 155 others were injured in the Paktika province districts of Barmala, Ziruk, Naka, and Gayan on Wednesday morning, according to Afghanistan's Bakhtar news agency. Rescue teams were being flown into the affected areas by helicopter.

According to a resident who posted on the website of the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, "strong and long jolts" were felt in Kabul 200 kilometers away (EMSC). Photographs in Afghan media and on social media showed houses in ruins.

According to Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the head of the Taliban administration's disaster management authority, deaths have also been reported in the eastern provinces of Khost and Nangarhar.

Bakhtar stated that local officials were concerned that the death toll would rise if the central government did not provide emergency assistance.

"A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses," wrote Bilal Karimi, the Taliban government's deputy spokesperson, on Twitter. "We urge all aid organizations to send teams to the area as soon as possible to prevent further disaster."

The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1, according to Pakistan's meteorological department. Tremors were felt in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, as well as other parts of the eastern Punjab province.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the shaking was also felt in Pakistan to the east of the quake's epicenter.

A major earthquake that struck Afghanistan's northeast in 2015 killed over 200 people in Afghanistan and neighbouring northern Pakistan. A similar 6.1 earthquake in northern Afghanistan in 2002 killed approximately 1,000 people. In addition, at least 4,500 people were killed in 1998 by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors in Afghanistan's remote northeast.

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