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More than 50 feared dead in Afghan quakes
by Staff Writers
Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan (AFP) June 12, 2012


More than 50 people are feared dead after landslides triggered by a double earthquake buried homes in northern Afghanistan, a senior provincial official said on Tuesday.

A day after the earthquakes, at least three bodies have been recovered in Burka district, the worst-hit area in the province of Baghlan, but between 50 and 70 people are thought still to be trapped, authorities say.

"They might be dead as there is a lot of soil and removing this is very, very hard," said provincial governor Munishi Abdul Majeed.

"We have sent excavators to the area but I don't think they will be able to do much as there is a lot of soil."

Rescuers are struggling to free those trapped and more teams have been sent from Kabul to the disaster-hit village of Mullah Jan, Mohammad Nasir Kohzad, the head of the local natural disaster response team, told AFP.

So far six people have been rescued with injuries, he added.

Two shallow quakes hit the region in the Hindu Kush mountains within half an hour on Monday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The first, with a magnitude of 5.4, struck at 9:32 am (0502 GMT) at a depth of 15 kilometres (9 miles) with the epicentre around 160 kilometres southwest of the town of Faizabad.

A more powerful tremor, measured at 5.7 magnitude, hit around 25 minutes later in almost exactly the same place, USGS said.

Buildings were felt shaking slightly in Kabul, around 170 kilometres to the south, during both quakes.

Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush range, which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million.

Related Links
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Dozens in hospital after 6.0 quake hits near Turkish resort
Ankara (AFP) June 10, 2012
A strong earthquake hit off the southwest coast of Turkey Sunday near a popular tourist resort, putting dozens of people in hospital, including some who jumped from buildings in panic, officials said. The 6.0 magnitude quake struck off Oludeniz, a small Aegean Sea holiday resort near the city of Fethiye which is popular particularly with Britons. No-one was killed, according to the natio ... read more


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