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Powerful earthquake kills at least 255 people in Afghanistan 

Powerful earthquake kills at least 255 people in Afghanistan: Rescuers fight to free dozens buried in rubble as dozens of homes are destroyed by a 6.0 earthquake on the Richter scale

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale has struck eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 255 people.

The tremors occurred in the early hours and destroyed at least 90 homes in Paktika province, with rescuers desperate for survivors after arriving by helicopter.

The international community has largely left Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the country last year, which is likely to happen make any aid for this country of 38 million more difficult.

The state-run Bakhtar news agency reported the death toll and the news agency’s director-general Abdul Wahid Rayan wrote on Twitter that dozens of people are believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Footage from Paktika province, near the Pakistani border, shows victims being transported in helicopters to be flown over from the area.

Images widely circulating online from the county showed ruined stone houses, with residents picking through bricks and other debris.

Bakhtar posted footage of a resident receiving IV fluids from a plastic chair outside the rubble of his home and others sprawled on stretchers.

“A massive earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our compatriots and destroying dozens of homes,” Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, wrote separately on Twitter. “We are urging all aid agencies to immediately dispatch teams to the area to prevent further disasters.”

The neighboring Pakistan Meteorological Department posted the 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Quakes were felt in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and elsewhere in the eastern province of Punjab.

The European seismology agency, EMSC, said the quake’s tremors were felt over 500 kilometers (310 miles) by 119 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Mountainous Afghanistan and the greater region of South Asia, where the Indian tectonic plate collides with the Eurasian plate to the north, have long been vulnerable to devastating earthquakes.

In 2015, a major earthquake in the northeast of the country killed more than 200 people in Afghanistan and neighboring northern Pakistan.

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