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On Wednesday, a deadly earthquake hit a remote mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more.

Local officials said the numbers could rise even further since an estimated 2,000 homes, typically inhabited by between seven and eight people, and buildings were toppled in the early-morning chaos.

According to reports, the magnitude 6.1 quake struck about 30 miles southwest of Khost, a provincial capital near the border with Pakistan, shortly after 1:30 a.m. local time and with a depth of about six miles.

The European seismological agency estimated that 119 million people could feel tremors, some as many as 300 miles away, spanning Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Robert Sanders said the huge death toll could be caused by the fact that most residents were sleeping when the earthquake struck.

“Because of the mountainous area, there are rockslides and landslides that we won’t know about until later reporting. Older buildings are likely to crumble and fail,” Sanders said.

“Due to how condensed the area is in that part of the world, we’ve seen similar earthquakes deal significant damage in the past,” Sanders added.

 

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