KABUL/ISLAMABAD – A magnitude-6.2 earthquake centered in an area of Afghanistan that has been hit by several temblors since October left at least four dead and more than 100 injured, most of them in neighboring Pakistan.
The quake sent people pouring into the streets late Friday night, although most decided to return to their homes because their desire for refuge from the cold winter weather outweighed their fear of aftershocks.
The epicenter of the quake was located in the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan, according to the United States Geological Survey, the same area where another temblor in October left nearly 400 dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The earth began to shake at 11:14 p.m. Friday at a depth of 203 kilometers (126 miles) in a mountainous area of Badakhshan, a province located between Tajikistan and northern Pakistan.
Three people died and 83 were injured in the northwestern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a spokesman for that province’s disaster management agency, Latif ur Rehman, told EFE.
In the neighboring region of Gilgit-Baltistan, a woman died and five children were injured when a landslide triggered by the earthquake struck their home, the spokesman said.
He said that “due to the remoteness and depth of the epicenter, the damage is not expected to rise, but there could be reports of more deaths in the coming hours” because rescue teams dispatched to the area “still have not reached all the areas.”
At least a dozen people were injured in the Afghan province of Nangarhar, while residents of many eastern areas of the country in which the earthquake was felt, including Kabul, poured out into the streets afterward.
“I was asleep when I felt my bed shaking and I quickly realized it was an earthquake, so I left the house quickly with my family,” a Kabul resident, Mohammad Parwiz, told EFE.
“When I went outside, I saw a lot of my neighbors in the street with their children despite the cold. A few minutes after the quake stopped, we went back inside the house,” he added.
The spokesman for Afghanistan’s disaster management ministry, Omar Mohammadi, said two people in Nangarhar sustained serious injuries.
He added that 74 houses were destroyed in that province and five others in northeastern Afghanistan – Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunar and Parwan.
On Oct. 26, a magnitude-7.5 earthquake centered around 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Fayzabad, Badakhshan’s capital, left nearly 400 dead – including almost 300 in Pakistan – and more than 2,400 injured.