by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) June 19, 2012
The United Nations disaster response agency said Tuesday that 75 people had been killed by shallow earthquakes that hit Afghanistan's mountainous Hindu Kush region last week.
Two shallow tremors of magnitude 5.2 and 5.7 struck less than half an hour apart on June 11, followed by a weaker tremor around an hour later, destroying more than 100 houses in four districts of Baghlan province.
In the worst-affected village, Mullah Jan, a landslide triggered by the quakes sent a deluge of rock and earth crashing into houses, killing 71 people. Search operations were called off on Saturday and the village declared a mass grave.
A further three people were killed in Nahrin district, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its final report on the disaster, as well as one person in Guzargahi Nur district.
Overall, 13 people were injured and a total of 114 houses destroyed in the disaster, OCHA said, with 580 houses damaged.
Authorities and aid agencies have provided temporary camps and relief aid, Afghanistan's Natural Disaster Management Authority said on Saturday, with the government promising to resettle homeless survivors.
Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush, 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.
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