Powerful quake hits Northern Afghanistan, shaking the region
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit northeast Afghanistan on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. Dozens of people are said to have been killed.
The Associated Press reports:
"Abdul Latif Khan, a senior official at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, says Monday's earthquake killed 46 people in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Another official, Mussarrat Khan, says 16 people died in tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan. Officials say more than 400 people were wounded.
"Another Pakistani died when a roof collapsed in an eastern city. Thirteen people died in Afghanistan and three people died in the disputed Kashmir region claimed by India and Pakistan."
Reports of tremors have come in from neighboring Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, geophysicist Amy Vaughan of USGS tells NPR's Newscast desk.
People were evacuated from buildings in the capitals of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, the BBC says, with "communications disrupted in many areas."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had called for an assessment.
I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan & Pakistan.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 26, 2015
Vaughan says the region is "very seismically active," noting that this is where the Eurasian and Indian plates converge. Landslides are also a threat.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Monday's quake hit nearly a decade after a temblor that killed tens of thousands of people in the region:
"South Asians haven't forgotten the earthquake 10 years ago in the Himalayan Mountains in which more than 70,000 people — many of them Pakistanis — were killed, and many more were made homeless. That quake had a magnitude of 7.6."
— via NPR