Gardez, Afghanistan: A powerful earthquake in Afghanistan killed at least 40 people and injured 60 others in areas bordering Pakistan, with the toll expected to rise, officials said Wednesday. “We call on aid agencies to provide immediate relief to the victims of the earthquake to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi tweeted after a 5.9-magnitude quake hit several areas bordering Pakistan during the night. Mohammad Amin Huzaifa, head of the Information and Culture Department in Paktika, one of the provinces hit by the tremor, told AFP the toll is expected to rise. Government officials said they would soon release details of casualties and damage caused by the quake. Photographs posted on social media showed several heavily damaged mud houses in remote rural areas. Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.