2 Earthquakes in Remote Area of Western Afghanistan Kill at Least 22

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two earthquakes rattled Afghanistan’s western Badghis Province along the border with Turkmenistan on Monday, killing at least 22 people, a local official said.

There were fears the death toll could rise as the first rescuers reached some of the remote, mountainous villages struck by the temblors in one of Afghanistan’s most impoverished and underdeveloped regions.

Bas Mohammad Sarwari, chief of the province’s culture and information department, said scores of homes had been destroyed in the quakes.

The U.S. Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 p.m. and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 p.m. local time. They struck 25 miles east and 31 miles southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.

The more powerful of the temblors hit the Qadis district in the southern tip of the province, where the majority of the damage and deaths occurred, according to Mr. Sarwari. By nightfall on Monday, only four villages in the affected areas had been heard from, he said.

“Tomorrow we have plan to send rescue teams as well as assistance for the affected families,” Mr. Sarwari said.

Mr. Sarwari said the tremors were felt across the province. Some homes in Qala-e-Naw suffered cracks but no major injuries or widespread damage, he added.

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