Published: Sunday 15 March 1998

A powerful earthquake rocked Afghanistan's remote northeastern region early this month, killing 4,000 people. The quake hit Rustaq, a city 280 km north of Kabul. Early reports said that over 15,000 homes were destroyed in the quake and tremors of varying intensity rocked the mountainous area for several hours afterwards. The US Geological Survey in Golden, California, put the magnitude of the quake at 6.1 on the Richter scale. The ousted Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who controls the northern part of the country, appealed for immediate help from the United Nations and the International Red Cross.

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