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ALALABAD, Afghanistan | Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:19am EDT
(Reuters) - An earthquake centered in Afghanistan's east killed at least four people and injured almost 70, after wet weather weakened the country's traditional mud-brick homes, officials said on Wednesday.
The 5.7 magnitude quake was felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, the latest in a string of tremors to shake Asia this month.
The quake was 40 miles deep with an epicenter 11 km (seven miles) from Mehtar Lam, the capital of Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website.
Initial reports from officials in neighboring Nangarhar and Kunar provinces said four people had been killed, with the death toll expected to rise. Sixty-nine people were injured.
Hundreds of homes collapsed across Kunar, the provincial governor's spokesman, Wasifullah Wasifi, said.
Wednesday saw steady rain across most of Afghanistan, which would have weakened the traditional mud-brick homes many Afghans live in, said the deputy chief of Afghanistan's National Disaster Management Authority.
The agency did not yet have casualty figures, he said.
Buildings swayed in New Delhi and people ran into the street in the disputed northern region of Kashmir, where an earthquake killed about 75,000 people in 2005, most on the Pakistan side. The quake was also felt in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
Last week, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 200 people in southwest China, a few days after another powerful tremor killed 35 people in Pakistan near the border with Iran.
(Reporting by in Rafiq Sherad in JALALABAD, Mohammad Anwar in ASADABAD, Satarupa Bhattacharjya in NEW DELHI, Fayaz Bukhari in SRINAGAR and Kathryn Houreld in ISLAMABAD; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel and Dylan Welch; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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