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At Least 26 Dead In Twin Quakes In Western Afghanistan


Earthquakes are common in the region, one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped, and often cause significant damage. (file photo)

Two earthquakes shook western Afghanistan on January 16, killing at least 26 people and reducing hundreds of homes to rubble, local authorities said.

The quakes occurred in Badghis Province, which borders Turkmenistan.

The U.S. Geological Survey registered a 5.3-magnitude quake in the early afternoon and a second, of 4.9 magnitude, two hours later. They struck 41 kilometers east and 50 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital, Qala-e Naw.

Afghanistan is already grappling with a humanitarian crisis, worsened by the Taliban takeover of the country in August, after which the West froze international aid and access to assets held abroad.

Mullah Janan Saeqe, the chief of the Emergency Operations Cent of the Ministry of State for Emergency Affairs, confirmed the death toll and said more than 700 houses had been damaged.

Earthquakes are common in the region, one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped, and often cause significant damage.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa

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