26 people killed, 700 homes destroyed in western Afghanistan quake
At least 26 people have been killed and hundreds of homes destroyed as magnitude 5.6 quake rocked western Afghanistan on Monday.
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Provincial officials said the victims, including women and children, died when roofs of their houses collapsed in Qadis district in the western province of Badghis bordering Turkmenistan.
The quake also inflicted damage on the residents of Muqr district in the province but details including of casualties were still unavailable.
Afghanistan is already in the grip of a humanitarian disaster because of Western countries' decision to freeze international aid and access to the country's assets held abroad.
Qadis is one of the areas worst affected by a devastating drought, benefiting little from international aid in the past 20 years.
The afternoon quake on Monday reduced brick homes to rubble. Heavy rain was also lashing the area, with officials saying the number of casualties might go up.
The quake was at a depth of 30 km, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre
The country is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
Earthquakes can cause significant damage to poorly built homes and buildings in impoverished Afghanistan.
In 2015, nearly 280 people were killed when a powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake centered in the mountain range ripped across South Asia, with the bulk of the deaths in Pakistan.