Published: 2023-03-22 10:34
Last Updated: 2024-03-01 18:20
Wednesday, the spokesperson of Afghanistan's Ministry of Natural Disaster Management says more than 50 people were "martyred and wounded" after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the country Tuesday evening.
Earlier, officials had announced three dead and 44 injured across the country -- but phone and internet links to remote parts of the country have been severed and communication patchy.
- Strong quake has people fleeing homes in Afghanistan and Pakistan -
A strong earthquake lasting for at least 30 seconds was felt across much of Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India Tuesday night, with the United States Geological Survey putting the magnitude at 6.5.
"It was a terrifying tremor. I had never felt such a tremor before in my life," Khatera, 50, a resident of Kabul, told AFP after rushing out of her fifth-story apartment in the capital.
The USGS said the quake was centered near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan and had a depth of 187 kilometers.
The region is frequently hit by earthquakes -- especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
Two people, including a child, were killed in Laghman province, Shafiullah Rahimi, spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Natural Disaster Management, told AFP.
Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said health centers across the country had been put on high alert.
Noor Mohammad Hanifi, a shopkeeper in Kabul, set up tents in a street for his family to spend the night in.
"Nobody dares to go inside their homes," Hanifi told AFP as his family, cloaked in blankets, took shelter.
Hanafi said he felt dizzy when the quake hit as he had just returned from a long trip.
"But when I heard the doors and windows shaking I realized it was an earthquake."