Scores injured as powerful quake jolts Pakistan, Afghanistan

By AFP

AFGHANISTAN / PESHAWAR: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck northeast Afghanistan around midnight near the country’s borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan, causing buildings in Islamabad to sway and leaving 30 injured in Peshawar.

The earthquake measured a strong 6.2 magnitude on the richter scale according to US Geological Survey (USGS), however DG Meteorological Department confirmed while speaking to The Express Tribune that the earthquake measured a magnitude of 6.9; after which an alert was issued in the province.

According to a spokesperson at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, “around 30 people have been injured so far.” There are further reports of 18 injured in Swat.

The quake, which measured 203.5 kilometres (126 miles) deep, struck about 280 kilometres northeast of the Afghan capital Kabul at 11:44 pm (1914 GMT), the USGS said on its website.

It caused buildings to sway in Islamabad, an AFP journalist said, and Twitter users as far away as New Delhi said they felt the quake’s impact.

In October, a 7.5-magnitude quake ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing almost 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

For many in Pakistan, October’s quake brought back traumatic memories of a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million.

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.

In Nepal a quake in April and a strong aftershock in May killed more than 8,900 people.

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