At least eight people were killed in a 5.3-magnitude earthquake early Monday morning in northeastern Afghanistan. The state news agency quoted a regional official as saying the death toll could rise.

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck near the eastern city of Jalalabad early this morning, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Maulavi Najibullah Hanif Bakhtar, spokesman for the provincial governor, told the news agency that Sunday night’s earthquake caused financial and human losses in Kunar province. The number of casualties may rise.

Mohammad Naseem Haqqani, spokesman for the Ministry of Disasters, said that the initial reports put the death toll at six and the number of injuries at nine.

Afghanistan was also hit by a powerful earthquake last June. More than 1,000 people were killed in the incident and extensive damage was caused to the surrounding areas.

(September 5)