Quake strikes northern Afghanistan

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | March 7, 2002

A powerful earthquake rocked northern Afghanistan Sunday afternoon, triggering a landslide that plummeted down a mountainside onto a village. More than 100 people are believed to have perished from the 7.2-magnitude quake, according to the United Nations.

Local aid workers were moving emergency supplies into the area, according to United Nations reports.

Homes were crushed and at least 100 people were killed, according to government officials. A remote community in the Hindu Kush mountains north of Kabul was hardest hit. The fallen cliff side careened down the mountainside minutes after the quake struck. The resulting landslide buried 100 homes. Flooding destroyed hundreds more when the rubble blocked a river.

Rocks were still tumbling down the mountainside Monday, and floodwaters showed no sign of receding.

Church World Service, along with members of Action by Churches Together, reported that their staff in Pakistan and Afghanistan were monitoring the situation and determining a response.

The quake was felt in six countries across central and south Asia. Dozens of people were injured in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

U.S. officials said that it could take weeks for northern Afghanistan to accurately communicate the extent of damages and loss of life.

The hard-hit village was in the northern Samangan province, southeast of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Some 30 homes were destroyed in Kabul.

In 1998, a quake in the northern provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan killed 8,500 people.

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