Scores injured as powerful quake jolts Afghanistan, Pakistan

AFP , Saturday 26 Dec 2015

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake centred in the Hindu Kush jolted Afghanistan and Pakistan late Friday, leaving dozens of people injured just two months after a killer quake struck the same mountainous region.

The tremor hit at a depth of 203.5 kilometres (126 miles), the US Geological Survey said, sending people fleeing shaking buildings into a bitterly cold night and prompting fears of aftershocks.

The epicentre of the quake, which was felt as far away as New Delhi, was in the remote Afghan province of Badakhshan, close to the Pakistani and Tajik borders.

Though there were no major reports of damage, at least 30 people were reported injured in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar and 12 others in the nearby Afghan province of Nangarhar.

There was no immediate information from Badakhshan where communication with remote, mountainous villages is typically slow.

USGS had initially reported the quake's magnitude at 6.2.

In October, a 7.5-magnitude quake in the same region ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing nearly 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain.

For many in Pakistan, October's quake brought back traumatic memories of a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

In Nepal a quake in April and a strong aftershock in May killed more than 8,900 people.

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