12 injured in Afghanistan after strong earthquake rattles region

At least 12 people have been injured and hospitalized in eastern Nangarhar province after an earthquake jolted Afghanistan just before midnight Friday, officials said on Saturday.

A number of Nangarhar University students in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, were injured during a stampede while trying to run out of a building during the quake, said Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar.

The 6.2 magnitude quake struck at around 11:45 p.m. on Friday and lasted about a minute. It was also felt in the capital, Kabul, sending residents rushing into the street for safety.

The U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said two regions of Afghanistan were affected — east and north-east — but the expected impact was "small to medium scale."

The quake's epicenter was in the Zebak district of Badakhshan province in the country's north, but no casualties or damage from the area had been reported, OCHA said.

In neighboring Takhar province, to the east, very little damage was reported aside from three houses in Taloqan city, it said. The northeastern region of Afghanistan is a mosaic of valleys and mountains; it is remote and sparsely populated, and difficult for damage assessors to reach.

In eastern Nagarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces, the damage was also limited. Overall, five provinces were affected, with 12 people injured and 16 houses damaged, OCHA said.

There were no reports of casualties or serious property damage in Kabul.

Friday's quake comes after a more-powerful earthquake jolted Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in October, killing at least 115 people and injuring around 500 others in several provinces in Afghanistan.

Overnight reports from Pakistan said that more than 30 people were injured as a result of the earthquake, as houses or walls collapsed in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

A total of 41 people were taken to hospitals in the city, according to doctors and rescue officials.