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Strong quake hits NE Afghanistan, felt in Pakistan

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The epicenter of the earthquake (Credit: Google)

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 has struck northeast Afghanistan, with shaking felt as far away as Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, seismologists and residents say.

The earthquake, which struck at 8:46 a.m. local time on Saturday, was centered near the town of Ashkāsham in the Hindu Kush Region of Afghanistan, not far from the border with Kashmir and Tajikistan.

Pakistan’s National Seismic Monitoring Center put the preliminary magnitude at 5.9 with a depth of 210 kilometers, making it a very deep earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude slightly lower, at 5.7.

Light to moderate shaking was reported across the region, as far away as Kabul, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, and Rawalpindi. Shaking was also reported in parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are regularly hit by moderate to strong earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush mountain range. A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan-administered Kashmir in October 2005, killing more than 79,000 people.

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