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Hundreds Killed, Scores Injured in Afghanistan Earthquake

Afghanistan earthquake
A helicopter carries the injured to local hospitals. Credit: Afghan Government News Agency

More than 900 people have been killed, and scores were injured after a powerful earthquake hit Afghanistan on Wednesday, according to the country’s state news agency.

Pictures shared on social media showed people on stretchers, rubble, and ruined homes in the eastern Paktika province.

A report by the Bakhtar News Agency said the death toll was likely to rise, adding more than 600 people were injured.

The quake struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost.

“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,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi tweeted.

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

The earthquake in Afghanistan measured 6.1 R

The earthquake, which hit during the early hours as many people slept, was a magnitude 6.1 quake at a depth of some 51km, according to the US Geological Survey.

Earthquakes can cause significant damage in Afghanistan, particularly in the many rural areas where many dwellings are not as stable or well-built.

Afghanistan is also prone to quakes, as it’s 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.

In the past ten years, more than 7,000 people have been killed in earthquakes in the country, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports. There are an average 560 deaths a year from earthquakes.

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