Hundreds reported dead after major quake hits Afghanistan

A strong earthquake in eastern Afghanistan early on Wednesday has reportedly killed at least 255 people.

The US Geological Survey says the quake's magnitude was estimated at 5.9. Its focus was about 10 kilometers below Khost Province.

An Afghan news agency close to the Taliban said on Twitter that at least 255 people were killed and 155 injured in Paktika Province.

The province's police told NHK that the quake toppled houses. They said at least 20 people were confirmed dead with more fatalities expected, and that authorities sent rescue teams to the affected areas.

Authorities in Khost Province say extensive damage has also been reported there.