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5.7-magnitude quake strikes Afghanistan, Pakistan

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, with strong tremors felt in the capital Kabul and in Islamabad in neighbouring Pakistan.

The quake struck at 0925 GMT at a depth of 65 kilometres (40 miles). Its epicentre was 25 kilometres northwest of the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad near the Pakistani border, the USGS said.

Pakistan's meteorological office put the magnitude at 6.2.

There were no immediate reports of any damage in either country.

Afghanistan's interior ministry and the national disaster agency said authorities were still gathering information.

In Kama district outside Jalalabad, people ran from their mudbrick homes in panic when the tremor was felt, a witness said, describing it as "very powerful". Two walls in one village collapsed, he said.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range which lies near the juncture of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

In June 2012 two quakes in the area triggered landslides that killed at least 75 villagers.

Wednesday's tremors came a week after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake centred in Iran affected thousands of people in remote southeastern Pakistan and killed 41 people.

Pakistani victims have staged angry protests, accusing the government of failing to provide adequate relief after hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged.

One of the worst-hit areas is Mashkail, a remote community in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, where the lack of paved roads, phone coverage, immense distances and medical facilities have hampered the rescue effort.

On October 8, 2005 a 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and parts of northwestern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130424/57-magnitude-quake-strikes-afghanistan-pakistan-0