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Powerful earthquake kills hundreds in Afghanistan

Afghans look at destruction caused by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Paktika province, eastern Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Associated Press via Bakhtar News Agency

Powerful earthquake kills hundreds in Afghanistan

At least 920 people are feared dead and more than 600 others sustained injuries after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Afghanistan’s eastern Khost and Paktika provinces early Wednesday. Officials said the death toll will likely rise as rescue efforts continue. The European seismological agency, EMSC, said the earthquake’s tremors extended 310 miles across Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.

How are authorities responding? Rescuers began using helicopters to airlift victims from the area. The state-run Bakhtar news agency said the disaster destroyed about 90 houses, with dozens of people likely still trapped under the rubble. The disaster comes as the Taliban controls the country after the U.S. military’s withdrawal last year. Afghanistan’s mountainous region makes it vulnerable to earthquakes. More than 200 people died across Afghanistan and northern Pakistan after a similar earthquake struck the region in 2015.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archive, read my report in The Sift on a 2018 earthquake that hit northeastern Afghanistan.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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