More than 950 people have been killed in a deadly earthquake in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The majority of confirmed deaths were in the province of Paktika.
Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the head of the Taliban administration’s disaster management authority told media this morning. He said that casualties were also reported in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Khost.
According to US Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at 1:54am today (PST), about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, at a depth of 51-km. The shaking was felt over some 500km by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. In Pakistan, tremors were felt in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Kohat, Mohmand, Swat, Buner and other parts of Punjab and KP.
People left their homes in panic for safer places. “It was strong,” said a resident of Peshawar. There were, however, no immediate reports of damage or deaths.
The disaster comes as Afghanistan has been enduring a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took over August, as US-led international forces were withdrawing after two decades of war.
In response to the Taliban takeover, many governments have imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of development aid.