Earthquake in Afghanistan May Have Killed 100, Officials Say

An earthquake in Afghanistan, followed by a subsequent landslide, has left officials digging for survivors after it struck in the northern part of the country Monday, killing possibly up to 100 people, as well as burying 20 houses.

The Associated Press reports that two earthquakes, one of 5.4 magnitude and another of 5.7 magnitude that occurred 27 minutes later, struck the Hindu Kush region of Baghlan, Afghanistan Monday morning. Subsequent landslides buried villagers and homes under mud and rocks.

The worst of the quake was focused in the mountain village of Sayi Hazara, and the Burka district was most affected by the landslide.

"We need bulldozers or other machinery to remove all this earth and get the bodies out, or the survivors if there are any," Jawed Basharat, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, told the AP.

So far, three deaths have been confirmed, as well as the destruction of homes, expected to be between 20 and 30, in five districts.

Rescue vans traveled from the nearby provincial capital of Pul-e-Khumri, about 25 miles away, to help those pulled from the rubble, but the surviving victims had already been sent to medical clinics, The Associated Press reports.

Monday's earthquake occurred 125 miles north of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital and largest city.

In 2010, an intensity VII earthquake shook several parts of Afghanistan, including the Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul regions, killing 11 people and injuring 70, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Additionally, in Sept. 2010, Afghanistan received another substantial earthquake in the Hindu Kush Region, which had a magnitude of 6.3.

Similarly, an earthquake in March 2002 struck the area of Hindu Kush, killing 50 and injuring 150.