Afghanistan earthquake: 1,000 killed, 1,500 hurt in 6.1 magnitude quake, reports say

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 1,000 people are dead and 1,500 are hurt after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Afghanistan on Wednesday.

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The earthquake struck a mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, flattening stone and mud-brick homes and killing at least 1,000 people, according to The Associated Press. The temblor, which could be felt as far as 310 miles away, destroyed structures in rural Khost and Paktika provinces, the AP reported.

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades, and officials said the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured, the state-run news agency told AP.

The quake was centered in Paktika province, about 31 miles southwest of the city of Khost, according to neighboring Pakistan’s Meteorological Department. Experts put its depth at just 6 miles. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage.

At least 2,000 homes have been destroyed, where on average every household has seven or eight people living in it, said Ramiz Alakbarov, the U.N. deputy special representative to Afghanistan.

Taliban government deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi took to social media to urge “all agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe,” the AP reported. Meanwhile, Ramiz Alakbarov, the United Nations’ resident coordinator in Afghanistan, tweeted that the agency is “assessing the needs and responding” in the quake’s aftermath.

“Our condolences to the families of (the) deceased, response is on its way,” he wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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