Earthquake in Afghanistan: Death toll rises to 950, more casualties feared

Earthquake in Afghanistan: More than 600 people have been injured in the 6.1 magnitude quake that hit the war-torn nation. 

Earthquake in Afghanistan: Death toll rises to 950, more casualties feared

Earthquake in Afghanistan: At least 950 people have died and over 600 injured in the earthquake of magnitude 6.1 that hit Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Wednesday (June 22), news agency Reuters reported. Afghan officials have warned casualties can rise. The Afghanistan-run Bakhtar news agency said rescuers were arriving by helicopter. The news agency's director-general, Abdul Wahid Rayan, informed on Twitter that around 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens are feared to be trapped under the debris. "A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses." Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government," tweeted. "We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe," he added.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said earlier today an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the early hours, adding that the tremors hit about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost in southeastern Afghanistan and was at a depth of 51 km. Citing media reports, PTI said one person was killed in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province after the roof of his house collapsed. As per  Express Tribune newspaper, the man, a member of the local football team, was asleep inside his house in Lakki Marwat when the roof collapsed. 

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), an earthquake struck over a range of some 500 km by about 119 million people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Quetta and several other areas of Pakistan also experienced quake, while as per Geo News, the shocks was also recorded in Faisalabad, Abbottabad, Swat, Buner, Kohat and Malakand. As per the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the epicentre of the earthquake was 44km southwest of Afghanistan's Khost at a depth of 50.8 km and its exact time was 1:54 am (local time).

(With agency inputs)

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