KABUL (Web Desk) – A powerful earthquake struck a remote area of northeastern Afghanistan on Monday, shaking the capital Kabul and killing at least 115 people, officials said.
On Tuesday, the Afghan presidential palace tweeted that the death toll had risen to 115, with 538 people injured. It said that 7,630 homes, 12 schools and 17 mosques were among the buildings destroyed or damaged.
Shockwaves were felt in northern India and in Pakistan’s major cities, where hundreds of people ran out of buildings as the ground rolled beneath them.
The quake was 213 km (132 miles) deep and centered 254 km (158 miles) northeast of Kabul in a remote area of Afghanistan in the Hindu Kush mountain range.
The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake’s intensity at 7.7 then revised it down to 7.5.
Read more: Earthquakes – through science and religion
Twelve girls were killed in a stampede while trying to escape from their school in the north Afghan city of Taloqan while five people were killed in the eastern province of Nangahar, officials said.
Scores of people were injured.
In the Afghan capital, Kabul, buildings shook violently but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
International aid agencies working in the northern areas of Afghanistan reported that cell phone coverage in the affected areas remained down in the hour after the initial quake.
The earthquake struck almost exactly six months after Nepal suffered its worst quake on record, on April 25. Including the toll from a major aftershock in May, 9,000 people lost their lives and 900,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
The mountainous region is seismically active, with earthquakes the result of the Indian subcontinent driving into and under the Eurasian landmass. Sudden tectonic shifts can cause enormous and destructive releases of energy.