At least 255 people were killed and more than 500 were injured after a powerful earthquake struck South-East Afghanistan on Wednesday. The quake, with a magnitude of 6.1, jolted 44 km southwest of Khost, according to the US Geological Survey.
The casualties occurred in four districts of Paktika province, the most-hit eastern province. The quake has damaged dozens of houses in the region and also caused land sliding in Paktika, reported state-run Bakhtar News Agency.
Reports also claimed that tremors failed in Pakistan's Islamabad and other neighboring districts.
Videos Show Terrible Devastation
Videos that emerged on the scene show terrifying scenes of devastation in Afghanistan. Footage shows collapsed houses and rescue officials taking injured people to hospitals via helicopters and ambulances.
Paktika Province Badly Affected
Taliban government's Deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi stated that a severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses. "We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe," he wrote on Twitter.
Rescue Operation Underway
Interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi revealed that most of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where 255 people had been killed and more than 200 injured. In Khost province, 25 people had been killed and 90 taken to hospital, reported Reuters.
Tremors Were Failed In Pakistani Cities
According to US Geological Survey, the quake hit at 1:54am (local time), about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, at a depth of 51 km. Tremors were also felt in Pakistan's Islamabad, Lahore, Kohat, Mohmand, Swat, Buner and other parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtun.
Nearly 100 homes are believed to have been destroyed in Paktika province and officials are still rescuing people trapped under the rubble.