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Hundreds of people have been buried under rubble and many feared dead –– after a powerful earthquake shook parts of eastern Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

The Taliban's state-run news agency says more than 250 people have been killed. It was not possible to immediately confirm that number, because the earthquake hit remote areas.

The hardest hit areas were remote farming villages in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika. Authorities had to dispatch rescue workers by helicopter to dig people out.

A video shared by the news agency featured a man pointing at homes around him in the early light. He says: there's five people buried under that house; 6 people under that house; there's 13 dead bodies under that building.

Another man in a neighboring province told NPR they were hearing reports that dozens of people had been buried under their homes – and were feared dead – in other remote villages near the Pakistani border.

The earthquake comes as a hunger crisis grips Afghanistan: around half the population of 40 million – need food aid to avert starvation.

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