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6.5 magnitude earthquake kills in Afghanistan and Pakistan

6.5 shivers on the Richter scale

As of 03/21/2023 8:51 PM

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Afghan-Pakistan border area. The first reports speak of dead and wounded. However, the exact extent remains unclear.

A strong earthquake hit parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The US seismological station USGS and the German Center for Geographical Research (GFZ) gave Potsdam a magnitude of 6.5. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Badakhshan Province, northern Afghanistan, near the village of Gorm, at a depth of approximately 200 km. The ground shook for at least 30 seconds.

The first reports from the authorities in the affected countries speak of many dead and injured. The exact extent of the earthquake’s consequences remains unclear. A local civil protection agency reported that at least nine people were killed and at least 30 others injured in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. But a police spokesman told Reuters news agency that 150 people were injured in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone. An Afghan government spokesman said two people were killed in Laghman province there.

Severe earthquakes occur frequently in the Hindu Kush region and neighboring countries, where the Arabian, Indian and Eurasian plates meet. Since many homes in impoverished Afghanistan are poorly built, tremors often cause significant damage. This time too, eyewitnesses noticed that many people fled their homes after the earthquake started and the walls swayed.

A devastating earthquake killed more than 1,000 people in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the summer of 2022. It was the deadliest earthquake in the country in nearly a quarter of a century. Tens of thousands of people became homeless at that time.

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