Strong quake hits Afghan mountains
AFGHANISTAN: A strong earthquake struck the Hindu Kush
mountains of Afghanistan on Tuesday, with tremors felt across Pakistan
and India, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The earthquake of magnitude 6.2 struck 260 km (160 miles) northeast
of Kabul, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and officials at
Pakistan's meteorological department said.
Authorities in Faizabad, the capital of Afghanistan's Badakhshan
province and the town nearest the epicentre, were trying to contact
outlying districts to assess damage and casualties, Deputy Governor
The mud walled houses of this impoverished part of Afghanistan are
vulnerable to quakes, and their structures will have been further
weakened by heavy rainfall in recent days.
The region is inaccessible at the best of times, but after heavy snow
and rainfall many mountain roads were cut by landslides and bridges were
swept away by torrents.
Thousands of people were killed by two earthquakes in Badakhshan
province in the late 1990s. The tremors from Tuesday's quake were felt
as far away as the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Children in northern Pakistan, where an earthquake killed 73,000
people in October 2005, fled screaming from their schools, a resident
"It continued for more than a minute," said Mohammed Wais, an
official at the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development in
He added: "We don't see at the moment any damage in the area."
Kabul, Tuesday, Reuters.