An earthquake in northeastern Afghanistan killed at least eight people early on Monday, and the toll could rise, the state news agency quoted a regional official as saying.

The quake of magnitude 5.3 struck near the eastern city of Jalalabad in the early hours, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The latest quake was felt in the provinces of Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar, and in the capital Kabul.

“We are collecting information from other areas regarding casualties and damages,” deputy minister for disaster management Sharafuddin Muslim told AFP.

“Sunday night’s earthquake has caused financial and human losses in Kunar province,” Mawlavi Najibullah Hanif, the spokesman for the provincial governor, told the Bakhtar News Agency, adding that casualties could rise.

Initial reports put the toll from the quake at six, with nine injured, said disaster ministry spokesman Mohammad Nassim Haqqani.

Afghanistan is still recovering from a strong earthquake in June that killed more than 1,000 and wiped out villages in its east.

Tremors felt in Pakistan

Islamabad and other parts of the country also experienced tremors in the wee hours of Monday as the earthquake struck the Hindukush region, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

Tremors were felt in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Mardan, Abbottabad, Swabi, Mohmand, Bajaur, Buner and adjacent areas after which people came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran, media reports said.

No loss of life or property was reported from any part of the country.

Last week, a “moderate” earthquake of 4.7 magnitude jolted the Kalat area of Balochistan. No casualties or damages were reported in the quake.

The quakes come at a time when Pakistan is reeling from floods caused by torrential monsoon rains. Catastrophic floods have left a third of the country submerged as thousands of roads, houses, electric towers and bridges have been completely damaged.


Additional input from AFP.

Categorized in: