KABUL: An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 shook parts of densely populated Afghanistan and Pakistan early Wednesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, with Afghan officials saying casualties were feared.
The quake struck about 44km (27 miles) from the city of Khost in southeastern Afghanistan at a depth of 51km, according to the USGS.
The head of the Taliban administration’s natural disaster ministry, Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, said they would provide an update once they had completed further investigation but believed there were casualties.
“According to our primary information the earthquake had casualties and damage, we are investigating,” he said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or deaths in Pakistan.
Shaking was felt over some 500km by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said in a tweet.
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.
“Strong and long jolts,” one witness posted on EMSC from Kabul.
“It was strong,” another witness posted from Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan.