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Afghan quake, floods kills at least 33

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - An earthquake in Afghanistan's east and flash floods in the north killed at least 33 people on Wednesday as hundreds of traditional mud-brick homes collapsed, officials said.

The 5.7 magnitude quake, which hit before 2 p.m. (0930 GMT) was felt as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi and was the latest in a spate of tremors to shake Asia this month.

The quake was 65 km (40 miles) deep with an epicenter 11 km (seven miles) from Mehtar Lam, capital of the eastern province of Laghman, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

At least 18 people were killed in adjacent Nangarhar and Kunar provinces and the death toll was expected to rise, a spokesman for the Afghan Red Crescent Society said. Some 70 people were injured in Nangarhar alone.

Hundreds of homes collapsed across Kunar and Nangarhar.

Wednesday saw steady rain across most of Afghanistan, which would have weakened the mud-brick dwellings many Afghans live in, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.

The agency did not yet have its own casualty figures.

Rain also caused flash-flooding in the northern province of Balkh earlier on Wednesday, killing 15 people, provincial council member Fazel Hadidi said.

Buildings swayed in New Delhi and panicky people ran into the street in the disputed northern region of Kashmir, where an quake killed about 75,000 people in 2005, most on the Pakistan side. Wednesday's quake was also felt in the Pakistani 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 Rafiq Sherad in Jalalabad, Mohammad Anwar in Asababad, Satarupa Bhattacharjya in New Delhi, Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar and Kathryn Houreld in Islamabad; writing by Frank Jack Daniel and Dylan Welch, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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