The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck about 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) southwest of the city of Ghost, near the country’s border with Pakistan, at 1:24 p.m.
The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, at 10 km / h (6.2 mi), according to the USGS.
The death toll has been reported in Parmal, Zirok, Nika and Qian districts of Bhaktika province, and more than 600 people have been injured, Bhaktar said.
Local officials and residents have warned that the death toll is likely to rise, according to Bucker. The full crash figures are not yet clear, and CNN has not been able to independently confirm the devotee’s statement.
Photographs of Bhaktika province in the south of the coast show ruined houses with only one wall or two still standing amid the ruins and broken roof beams.
Najibullah Sadit, Afghanistan’s watershed management expert, said the quake coincided with heavy monsoon rains in the region – traditional houses, made of many soils and other natural materials, were particularly damaged.
“The time of the quake (in the dark of night) … and the shallow depth of 10 kilometers from its epicenter led to more casualties,” he added.
Bilal Karimi, a deputy Taliban spokesman, said the quake was “severe” and called on aid agencies to “send emergency teams” to the affected area.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said its teams were on the ground for an emergency response, including administering medication, trauma services and conducting on-demand assessments.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif expressed his condolences and support in a tweet on Wednesday. “I am deeply saddened to learn that there was an earthquake in Afghanistan that resulted in the loss of innocent lives,” he wrote. “People in Pakistan share the grief and sorrow of their Afghan brothers. Authorities are working to support Afghanistan at this time of need.”
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