Related News

Home » World

At least 21 die in Afghanistan earthquakes

TWO earthquakes shook eastern Afghanistan early yesterday, collapsing mud-brick homes on top of villagers while they slept and killing at least 21 people.

The quakes hit four villages in the high mountains of the eastern province of Nangarhar, about 50 kilometers from the Pakistan border.

Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountain range is hit by dozens of minor earthquakes each year. Many Afghan homes are made of dried mud, so even moderate earthquakes can cause many deaths and major damage to infrastructure.

The nation is also battling a strengthened Taliban insurgency and another four people were killed in attacks yesterday.

Shafiqullah, from the village of Bhezad Kheil, said 21 people were buried in a cemetery following the quake, including two of his young neighbors. Nijad, 10, and Sima, 7, both died after the roof above their second-story bedroom collapsed, raining down wood beams and chunks of mud, he said.

"There were two shakes," said Shafiqullah, 30. "The first shake was very strong, when everyone was asleep. The first shake destroyed everything. Then the crying and the shouting started."

The quakes destroyed or damaged an estimated 100 houses in the four villages in Sherzad district, about 90km east of Kabul, said governor's spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.

The United States Geological Survey said Nangarhar province was hit by two earthquakes - a 5.5-magnitude quake at about 2am, and a 5.1-magnitude aftershock two hours later.

A villager in Sherzad, Shah Mohammad Khan, told reporters that 40 people were killed and 60 wounded, but government officials have not confirmed those figures.

In the latest violence, two suicide bombers on foot tried to attack the office of the minister of refugees in southern Nimroz province yesterday. Guards shot and killed one bomber at the scene. The second fled.

While running away, he detonated his explosives, killing three civilians, said Nimroz Governor Ghulam Dastagir Azad.

In the north, a Norwegian intelligence officer serving with the nation's peacekeeping force was killed yesterday by a roadside bomb near the city of Maymana, said Kjetil Eide, the Norwegian Joint Headquarters spokesman.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend