More than 200 people have died, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan. Tremors were also felt in northern India and Tajikistan. At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building.

The earthquake center was in the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad. The death toll is set to rise as the most severely affected areas are very remote and communications have been cut off.

RMF’s Pakistan team is closely monitoring the situation, preparing our relief efforts.

In Pakistan, at least 154 people were known to have died in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone, and more than 1,000 were injured. Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 52 killed in total.

The region has a history of powerful earthquakes caused by the northward collision of India with Eurasia. The two plates are moving towards each other at a rate of 4-5cm per year.

In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir left more than 75,000 people dead.
In April this year, Nepal suffered its worst earthquake on record with 9,000 people killed and about 900,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

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