Afghan Quakes Kill 3

Posted June 11th, 2012 at 7:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Two earthquakes in Afghanistan's northeastern Hindu Kush region killed at least three people early Monday, and authorities say dozens of others are trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed homes.

The first earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.4, struck in northern Baghlan province, causing landslides that destroyed more than 20 houses in the remote Burka district. Local authorities say at least 60 people are trapped, and their fate is uncertain.

The first jolt was centered nearly 50 kilometers below the surface. About 25 minutes later, the U.S. Geological Survey said, a stronger, 5.7-magnitude quake hit the same region. Its epicenter was somewhat shallower – 31 kilometers underground.

The earthquakes hit an area roughly 175 north of Kabul, and they were felt in parts of Tajikistan and in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

A spokesman for Baghlan's provincial governor, Mahmood Haqmal, told VOA a rescue team was sent to the area to determine the extent of the casualties and damage. Rescuers also were dispatched in parts of nearby Takhar and Badakhshan provinces where damage also was reported.