Magnitude 6.1 Quake Rattles Afghanistan and Pakistan

In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake killed thousands of people in Pakistan and Kashmir

A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake rattled Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday, including the capital cities of both countries, killing a young girl and injuring 15 others, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake's center was in northeast Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Jarm in the Hindu Kush region. It had a depth of 191.2 kilometers (119 miles).

TV footage showed people in Islamabad fleeing offices and schools in panic.

Rana Hamid Ali, who works at a private company, said when the quake hit he started running toward the stairs instead of using the office elevator to get out of the building.

"We were doing routine work in our office when a strong earthquake suddenly rattled our building and we came down through the stairs, there was no time to wait for the elevator," he said.

Another resident, Azeem Chaudhry, said his home's walls swayed when the quake struck.

At least one girl was killed and eight others injured when roofs collapsed on mud-brick homes in the village of Lasbela in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, said local government official Izat Nazir Baluch. He said authorities were still trying to assess the damage in the province.

Four schoolchildren were also injured when students stampeded out of their school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, but none was listed in serious condition, according to police and government officials.

The quake was felt in the Afghan capital Kabul, where an official said at least three people were injured when a wall collapsed in a village in northeastern Badakhshan province near the border with Pakistan.

Gul Mohammad Bedar, provincial deputy governor, said the temblor also caused cracks in the walls of a number of other houses there.

Bedar said officials were trying to collect more details from the remote villages in Jarm. Authorities faced problems getting details in the remote district where the Taliban have a strong presence.

Mohammad Mustafa, acting district governor in Jarm, said they had no communications with about 52 villages, which makes it difficult to get details about quake-related damage.

The earthquake also was felt in the Indian capital New Delhi and the Indian Kashmir region. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to buildings there.

A magnitude 7.6 quake in 2005 killed thousands of people in Pakistan and Kashmir.

Associated Press writer Amir Shah contributed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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