Quake rattles Afghanistan, no casualties

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) – An earthquake measuring 5.6 hit Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region on Saturday, but caused no casualties, a provincial official said.

The quake, centered 275 km (170 miles) northeast of Kabul, was also felt in parts of northern Pakistan and India, including the respective capitals Islamabad and New Delh.

“I have spoken to almost all the district chiefs of the province, but no one has reported any casualties,” said Munshi Abdul Majid, the governor of the northern province of Badakhshan where the epicenter was located.

Earlier Majid had said he expected casualties in the remote areas where mud-walled homes are vulnerable to quakes.

“All my colleagues ran out of the office,” a Reuters reporter in northeastern Kunar province said. People also ran out of offices in Islamabad and New Delhi, where buildings swayed, witnesses said.

Thousands of people were killed by earthquakes in Badakhshan province in the late 1990s.

On March 25, 2002, at least 1,500 people were killed when a series of quakes of between magnitude 5 and 6 struck northern Baghlan province in the Hindu Kush mountains, destroying the district capital of Nahrin.

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