As a 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Afghanistan, 130 people are killed and houses are reduced to rubble
As a 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Afghanistan, 130 people are killed and houses are reduced to rubble

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing at least 130 people, an official said, adding that at least 250 others were injured and that investigations were underway to determine whether the death toll would climb.

The quake happened roughly 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, at a depth of 51 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.

“Strong and long jolts,” a Kabul resident said on the website of the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

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“It was powerful,” claimed a Peshawar resident.

According to the EMSC, over 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India felt the shaking.

Photographs in Afghan media showed ruined dwellings.

Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the chairman of the Taliban administration’s natural disaster ministry, said the majority of deaths occurred in the province of Paktika, where 100 people died and 250 were injured.

Another 25 people were murdered in Khost and five in Nangarhar province, he added, adding that investigations were underway to ascertain whether there were any further victims.

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In Pakistan, there were no early reports of property damage or injuries.

The calamity strikes at a time when Afghanistan has been in the grip of a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took control in August, as US-led foreign forces prepare to leave after two decades of conflict.

Many governments have put restrictions on Afghanistan’s banking system and reduced billions of dollars in development aid in response to the Taliban takeover.