At least 40 killed by earthquake in Afghanistan overnight

At least 40 killed by earthquake in Afghanistan overnight
At least 40 killed by earthquake in Afghanistan overnight

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GARDEZ, Afghanistan: A powerful earthquake in Afghanistan has killed at least 40 people and injured 60 others in areas bordering Pakistan, with the death toll expected to rise, officials said Wednesday.

“We call on aid agencies to provide immediate aid to earthquake victims to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi tweeted after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled several areas bordering Pakistan during the night.

Mohammad Amin Huzaifa, head of the Department of Information and Culture of Paktika, one of the provinces affected by the tremor, told AFP that the number of victims is expected to rise.

Government officials said details of the casualties and damage from the quake would be released soon.

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Photos posted on social media showed several badly damaged adobe houses in remote rural areas.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

AFP