A strong earthquake hit northwestern Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan Friday, sending villagers running into the streets of Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) and causing still-undetermined damage in provincial towns.
Seismologists put the preliminary magnitude at 6.1 on the Richter scale, the same strength as a Feb. 4 quake that killed about 5,000 people in remote northern Afghanistan. The tremor, the second in the region in a week, struck at 5:18 p.m. (7:18 a.m. EST).
The quake's epicenter was barely 60 miles south of the city of Rustaq, the center of the remote Afghan region hit by the Feb. 4 earthquake. It was impossible to learn immediately whether the quake caused more damage there. Most people in the area are still living outdoors in makeshift shelters, having lost their homes to the first quake.
According to Sallauddin Khan, director of a Pakistan earthquake center, there were early reports of damage in northern Pakistani towns of Chitral and Dir. Homes in the region are made of mud and wood, and collapse easily.
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