Kabul, Afghanistan, March 26 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake in northern Afghanistan killed about 1,800 people, Cable News Network quoted interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as saying.
Thousands of houses were destroyed in the quake, which began last night at about 7.30 local time, the British Broadcasting Corp. said. Tremors continued into this morning. The town of Nahrin, in Baghlan province, was among those hardest hit, Agence France-Presse reported.
The quake measured about 7 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as Peshawar and Islamabad in Pakistan, the BBC reported. Seismologists in Russia and the U.S. traced the epicenter to Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains.
"There are still shocks going on every two hours or so,'' Mira Jan, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, was cited by AFP as saying. "We have not managed to get any help or relief to the area.''
Foreign relief agencies and the International Security Assistance Force based in the capital, Kabul, were holding emergency meetings to plan rescue efforts, United Nations spokeswoman Rebecca Richards told AFP.
The quake was the second in the Hindu Kush range this month. About 150 people Afghans died March 4 after an earthquake prompted a landslide, the official Afghan Bakhtar news agency reported. The deaths occurred in the village of Dahani Zoa, in the Khuram Sarbagh region of Samangan province.