A deadly magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least 23 people there and in neighboring Pakistan.
The victims included 12 girls who were students at a school in the Afghan province of Takhar, an official told NBC News. At least 11 people were also killed in Pakistan, according to police and health officials.
The quake came just days after rain fell in many parts of Afghanistan, potentially making mud-built houses vulnerable.
The temblor struck at around 2:10 p.m. (5:10 a.m. ET) and occurred in remote area of the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan around 28 miles south-southwest of Jarm, according to the USGS. The agency later revised its magnitude from a preliminary 7.7 to 7.5.
The governor of the Afghan province of Badakhshan, where the quake's epicenter was located, told NBC News that "homes were destroyed." Shah Waliullah Adeeb added that authorities had been unable to make contact with some remote districts.
In the Afghan capital of Kabul, cars stopped in the streets and screaming residents streamed out of homes, offices and schools. Widespread power outages and telephone cuts were reported.
Similar scenes were reported in cities including Lahore and Peshawar in neighboring Pakistan, where the government declared emergency in some areas. The country's army put all non-combat units on standby.
"I just felt it go up and down as if I was on a New York subway on a really rough ride," said NBC News producer Wajahat S. Khan, who was in a hotel in Lahore at the time of the quake. "Everything was moving up and down. My lunch on the table was literally just popping up and down."
Khan added: "The scenes downstairs were really really chaotic. The panic continued and lasted for a good 4 or 5 minutes after the quake."
NBC News producer Mushtaq Yusufzai was eating with his family in Peshawar when the earthquake struck.
"There was no was way to go downstairs so we immediately climbed to the rooftop," he said. "It seemed the entire building was going to collapse. Women and children were crying and traffic was stopped on roads."
At least 55 people were injured in Peshawar, officials said. Some were listed in critical condition.
The country's Supreme Court was in a televised session and judges, lawyers and complainants were shown running out of the room.
The quake was also felt in Indian cities including Srinagar, which is located almost 300 miles away.