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article imageStrong 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocks Afghanistan: USGS

By AFP     May 9, 2018 in Environment

A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, creating tremors felt as far away as Pakistan's capital Islamabad and Tajikistan's Dushanbe.

The quake struck at 1041 GMT near Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan in the Hindu Kush mountains at a depth of 111 kilometres (69 miles), the USGS said.

It was the second earthquake to shake Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The tremors were felt in "most parts" of the earthquake-prone country, said Mohammad Omar Mohammadi, spokesman for the national disaster management ministry.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in the northeastern province of Badakhshan where the earthquake was centred.

But in the eastern province of Khost two children were injured when the roof of a house collapsed, Mohammadi said.

AFP correspondents in the capital Kabul felt the ground move for at least a minute in the second quake that came a few hours after the first.

In neighbouring Pakistan's city of Peshawar near the Afghan border people rushed into the streets following the tremor, fearing aftershocks, witnesses told AFP.

Kabul was already on edge after a series of explosions rocked the city earlier in the day.

Suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparent coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations, with security forces still searching buildings for some of the assailants.

At least two officers were killed and half a dozen civilians were wounded in the attacks, one of which was ongoing, police and health officials said, as the city braces for more violence in the coming days.

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

Aid agencies have stressed the need for greater disaster preparedness in the war-torn country, which remains extremely susceptible to natural disasters such as floods, quakes and landslides.

A devastating 7.5-magnitude quake that struck Badakhshan in October 2015 triggered landslides and flattened buildings, killing more than 380 people across the region including 248 in Pakistan.

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