At least 12 dead after earthquake hits Pakistan and Afghanistan
At least 12 people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a powerful earthquake struck large parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The 6.5-magnitude quake damaged buildings, triggered landslides and sent people running into the streets.
It hit Tuesday evening local time and was centred in Afghanistan’s Jurm valley which is prone to quakes.
The remoteness of the sparsely populated area is likely to slow relief and rescue work.
“It was a terrifying tremor. I had never felt such a tremor before in my life,” Kabul resident Khatera told AFP news agwncy after rushing out of her fifth-storey apartment.
Nine of the confirmed fatalities were reported in the valley region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
Three others were killed in Afghanistan, the country’s health ministry spokesman said. A child was among those fatalities in the Laghman province near the country’s border with Pakistan, AFP reported.
Many families were out of their homes celebrating the Persian New Year or Norwuz when the quake struck.
In neighbouring Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked disaster agencies to take emergency measures to help people.
Tremors were felt over a 1,000-km area that spans India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.
Earthquakes are more likely in this region because it lies at the juncture of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
In June last year more than 1,000 people were killed after a 5.9-magnitude quake struck Afghanistan’s Paktika province, the country’s deadliest in nearly a quarter of a century.