At least eight people were killed and nine others injured after an earthquake in eastern Afghanistan overnight, an official said on Monday. The 5.3-magnitude temblor that hit districts along the eastern border with Pakistan comes less than three months after a powerful quake killed more than 1,000 people, also along the same frontier. The latest quake was felt in the provinces of Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar, and in the capital Kabul.
“We are collecting information from other areas regarding casualties and damages,” deputy minister for disaster management Sharafuddin Muslim told AFP. Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes — especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
On June 22, the country’s deadliest earthquake in over two decades — of magnitude 5.9 — killed more than 1,000 people and injured thousands. In 2015, about 380 people were killed in Pakistan and Afghanistan when a 7.5-magnitude earthquake ripped across the two countries.
In recent months Afghanistan has also been hit by flash floods that have killed about 200 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Such disasters pose a huge logistical challenge for Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which has isolated itself from much of the world by introducing hard-line Islamist rule.