12 killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan earthquake


At least 12 people have been killed and more than 200 injured after a powerful earthquake shook large parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tremors from the remote Jurm valley were felt as far as India.

The 6.5-magnitude quake damaged buildings, triggered landslides, and sent people running into the streets.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening and was centered in a mountainous region in Afghanistan's north-east, near the border with Pakistan.

"It was a terrifying tremor. I had never felt such a tremor before in my life," Kabul resident Khatera told AFP news agency after rushing out of her fifth-storey apartment.

According to report, Nine of the confirmed deaths were reported in the valley region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

Three others were killed in Afghanistan, the country's health ministry spokesman said. A child was among those killed in the Laghman province near the country's border with Pakistan, AFP reported. 

Many families had been out of their homes celebrating the Persian New Year or Norwuz when the quake hit.

The remoteness and rugged terrain of the affected areas is likely to slow relief and rescue work.

Phone lines have been affected, and in Pakistan the highway in the worst-hit Swat area has been blocked by landslides.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked disaster agencies to take emergency measures to help people.

Tremors were felt over a 1,000-km area that spans India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

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