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Powerful Quake Hits Northern Afghanistan, Shaking The Region

Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit northeast Afghanistan on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The number of casualties is unclear.

Reports of tremors have come in from neighboring Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, geophysicist Amy Vaughan of USGS tells our Newscast desk.

People were evacuated from buildings in the capitals of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, the BBC says, with "communications disrupted in many areas."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had called for an assessment.

The region is "very seismically active," Vaughan says, noting that this is where the Eurasian and Indian plates converge. Landslides are also a threat. NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

"South Asians haven't forgotten the earthquake 10 years ago in the Himalayan Mountains in which more than 70,000 people — many of them Pakistanis — were killed, and many more were made homeless. That quake had a magnitude of 7.6."

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