Afghanistan hit by strong quake

A STRONG earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, has hit northeastern Afghanistan, striking in the mountainous Hindu Kush region bordering Pakistan early on Tuesday.

Residents in Pakistan administered Kashmir, where tens of thousands died in October’s earthquake, fled their homes, reports say. The tremor was also felt as far away as the Indian capital, Delhi. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

“The deeper an earthquake the less likely it is to cause damage. This quake … is not likely to cause too much damage although it is possible,” USGS’s Don Blakeman said.

“Some 100 houses have been damaged and between 300 and 400 cattle have been killed,” Shamsur Rahman, deputy governor of the province, told Reuters news agency. “People came out of their tents and started screaming and reciting verses from the Koran,” said Sarfraz Ahmad, a resident.

There have been more than 1,000 aftershocks here in the past two months but this was the strongest tremor so far. More than 73,000 people were killed in the October earthquake, which left at least three million people homeless, according to Pakistan officials.