December 25, 2015 / 7:38 PM / 2 years ago

Strong earthquake hits northeast Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan late on Friday, two months after more than 300 people were killed by a quake in the same mountainous region.

Strong shocks were felt in the Afghan capital Kabul at 11:14 p.m. local time (1914 GMT) and in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, waking sleeping people and driving them out of their houses. Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.4, was at a depth of 126.5 miles (203 km) and centred 51 miles (82 km) southeast of the town of Feyzabad, capital of the Afghan province of Badakhshan.

In Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government issued a red alert soon after the earthquake but there was no immediate information about loss of life or damage to property.

A magnitude 6.2 quake is considered strong and can cause severe damage. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties but communications can be slow in the mountainous region where the quake was centred.

With harsh winter weather setting in, any widespread destruction of buildings and houses would create severe hardship.

A magnitude-7.5 quake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Oct. 26, destroying thousands of houses and killing more than 300 people.

Reporting by James Mackenzie in Kabul, Jibran Ahmed in Peshawar and Krishna N. Das in New Delhi; Editing by Andrew Roche

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