Death toll rises to 280 as 6.1 magnitude earthquake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan. Details here

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The Afghanistan’s state-run news agency has reported that at least 155 people have lost their live in the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that jolted parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wee hours of Wednesday. 

The quake struck about 44km from the city of Khost in densely populated southeastern Afghanistan at a depth of 51km, according to the USGS.

Visuals emerged of showed destroyed stone houses, with residents picking through clay bricks and other rubble. Injured victims were also seen being carried to helicopters. 

The majority of confirmed deaths were in the province of Paktika, where 100 people were killed and 250 injured, said Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the head of the Taliban administration’s disaster management authority.

Deaths were also reported in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Khost, he added, as authorities check for further casualties.

Reports have surfaced that at least 155 killed in earthquake in country’s eastern Paktika province.

The Bakhtar news agency separately reported rescuers were arriving by helicopter. The news agency’s director-general, Abdul Wahid Rayan, wrote on Twitter that 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of people are believed trapped under the rubble.

Footage from Paktika province near the Pakistan border showed victims being carried into helicopters to be airlifted from the area. 

Bakhtar posted footage of a resident receiving IV fluids from a plastic chair outside the rubble of his home and others sprawled on gurneys.

Tremors were also felt in Lahore, Multan, Quetta and several other areas of Pakistan.

“A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses,” Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, wrote on Twitter. “We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe.”

Neighboring Pakistan’s Meteorological Department put the earthquake at a magnitude 6.1. Tremors were felt in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, and elsewhere in the eastern Punjab province.

The European seismological agency, EMSC, said the earthquake’s tremors were felt over 500 kilometers (310 miles) by 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

It was felt in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, as well as Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, according to witness accounts posted on the EMSC website and Twitter.

(With inputs from agencies)

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