More than 250 have died after a powerful earthquake struck Afghanistan.

 

Authorities say more than 200 people have also been injured in remote parts of the south of the country as the huge tremors from the 6.1 magnitude quake crushed people in their homes.

 

The quake struck about 44km from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, at a depth of 51km early on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.

 

Shaking was felt more than 500km away by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the EMSC said on Twitter.

 

According to Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, head of the Taliban administration’s natural disaster ministry, some 100 people died in the province of Paktika.

 

Another 25 people were killed in Khost and five in Nangarhar province, he said, adding that investigations were being conducted to determine if there were more casualties.

 

Rescue teams arrived by helicopter to free terrified people trapped under debris.

 

“Strong and long jolts,” a resident of the Afghan capital, Kabul, posted on the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) website.

 

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in Pakistan.

 

Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, said: “There was a severe earthquake in four districts of Paktika province, which killed and injured hundreds of our countrymen and destroyed dozens of houses.

 

“We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe.”

 

State-run Bakhtar news agency reported that 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of people are believed to be trapped under the rubble.

 

Footage from the province near the Pakistan border showed victims being carried into helicopters to be airlifted from the area.

 

The Sun UK

By obio

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