The toll included around 12 girls who died while trying to flee their school in Afghanistan, an official told NBC News — with some of them crushed in a stampede.
Landslides were reported and some of the affected regions could not immediately be contacted, authorities said. The quake came just days after rain fell in many parts of Afghanistan, potentially making mud-built dwellings vulnerable.
The temblor struck at around 2:10 p.m. (5:10 a.m. ET) and occurred in remote area of the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan around 28 miles south-southwest of Jarm, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency later revised its magnitude from a preliminary 7.7 to 7.5.
Witnesses reported a series of aftershocks.
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The earthquake was widely felt in neighboring Pakistan, where the government declared an emergency in some areas. The country’s army put all non-combat units on standby.
“I just felt it go up and down as if I was on a New York subway on a really rough ride,” said NBC News producer Wajahat S. Khan, who was in a hotel in Lahore at the time of the quake. “Everything was moving up and down. My lunch on the table was literally just popping up and down.”
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