Afghanistan: Earthquake destroyed 200 homes in northeast

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KABUL, 14 December (IRIN) - At least 10 people, including three children, were injured and 200 homes destroyed when an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit northeastern Afghanistan early on Tuesday, officials at the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred in the remote Hindu Kush region of northeastern Afghanistan. It struck shortly before 02:30 local time.

The quake, felt in several Pakistani cities, including Muzaffarabad and Balakot, as well as in India's capital, New Delhi, came after October's massive regional quake of 7.6 magnitude, which killed more than 80,000 people in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Pakistani-administered Kashmir and more than 1,200 people in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The quake's epicentre was about 100 km southeast of Faizabad, capital of Afghanistan's northeastern Badakhshan province. The tremor shook large parts of eastern and northern Afghanistan and was felt in the capital Kabul.

"The quake hit Shahr-i-Buzurg and Keran-o Munjan districts of Badakhshan injuring 10 people and killing 400 domestic animals," Yousuf Stanizai, spokesman for the interior ministry said, adding they were still trying to contact remote parts of Badakhshan for more information on casualties and damage.

"The quake destroyed around 200 homes in both Shahr-i-Buzurg and Keran-o Munjan districts," Stanizai noted.

The last major earthquake to hit Afghanistan was in March 2002. The epicentre was in the south of Badakhshan province and killed nearly 2,000 people.


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