Large-magnitude earthquake in southeast Afghanistan kills and injures at least 800 people

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According to the Afghan Disaster Management Authority, a devastatingly powerful earthquake that struck rural areas in southeastern Afghanistan left at least 280 people dead and 600 injured.

The state-run media Bakhtar News Agency reported that the earthquake that struck Naki, Zirok, Barmal and Gayan districts of Paktika province on Tuesday night left 280 people dead and more than 600 injured.

According to Salahuddin Ayubi, an official with the Taliban’s interior ministry, the majority of deaths were reported in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed.

About 44 kilometers southeast of Khost province, the quake occurred some time after 1:30 a.m. local time, according to reports by seismologists.

The Bakhtar news agency reports that helicopters transported the injured to hospitals in remote areas.

According to Taliban official Bilal Karimi, Deputy Taliban Spokesman, who tweeted on Wednesday: “Unfortunately a powerful earthquake hit four districts in Paktika province last night killing hundreds, injuring hundreds more and destroying dozens of homes. .”

Since several villages are in remote mountainous areas, the death toll could rise.

Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the minister for natural disasters under the Taliban government, had previously said investigations were underway to see if there was an increase in casualties.

The quake is shaking some Afghan provinces at a time when meteorologists from the Afghan Meteorology Department have warned that torrential rains could cause flash floods and gusty winds in some provinces of Afghanistan.

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