Earthquakes hit eastern Afghanistan
Apr 17,2009 00:00 by UPI

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Officials say they fear dozens of people could be dead after two earthquakes collapsed hundreds of houses in eastern Afghanistan Friday.

Villagers searching through rubble said the death toll was at least 40 and likely to rise, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"Three of my family members were killed and seven are injured. I think about 40 people have died. Hundreds of houses have been destroyed," Gul Mohammad in Mir Gadkhel village, 30 miles west of Jalalabad, told the British newspaper.

Homes and buildings in several villages in the Sherzad and Khogyani districts of Nangahar province were believed to be damaged heavily, officials said.

Afghan police were on-site, and said U.S. forces planned to distribute food, blankets and other humanitarian aid.

"The police started work early this morning," an Afghanistan Interior Ministry spokesman said. "The work is going on and the rubble is being removed to try to find more dead bodies or injured people."

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