Death toll reaches 339 in quake-hit Afganistan, Pakistan

Death toll exceeds 339 after magnitude 7.5 quake hits Afghanistan and Pakistan

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man and his son clear the rubbles from their house after it was damaged by an earthquake in Behsud district of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan October 27, 2015

Officials said on Tuesday that the total number of people who their lives from a quake in Afghanistan has reached 339 as rescuers struggle to reach quake-hit areas.

Over 250 people lost their lives in Pakistan while 78 people died in Afghanistan and 3 died in Kashmir when the 7.5 magnitude quake with its epicenter beneath the Hindu Kush mountains hit Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, Tajikistan and China on Monday.

Villages located 73 kilometers away from Fayzabad, Badakhshan Province, were the hardest hit, which relief workers can only reach by foot or donkey as the earthquake damaged roads.

One of the worst affected towns was Shangla, which is located in Pakistan’s Chitral District and is waiting for government aid as many houses there were damaged by the earthquake.

On Monday 12 students at a girl’s school in Afghanistan’s Takhar province were killed in stampede as panic broke out during the earthquake.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated that assets will be available for relief efforts when he met with officials who were running disaster management operations in Afghanistan.

The presidential office of Afghanistan afterwards released a statement saying that at least 7,600 homes were destroyed in Afghanistan and 558 people were injured.

Over 1,000 houses were damaged in one of the poorest areas of Afghanistan, Badakhshan Province, Governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb said, adding that aid supplies are ready to reach people sleeping outdoors in fear despite severe weather conditions.

The Taliban also said it would help victims of the earthquake and called on Afghans "not to hold back in providing shelter, food and medical supplies."

Pakistani officials said 202 people were killed in a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province close to the Afgan border while 2,000 people were wounded. The quake destroyed at least 4,000 Pakistani homes.

Areas affected by the quake have began to receive relief supplies as landslides have been cleared from some parts of the Karakoram Highway through the efforts of engineers, Pakistan's military stated.

Army spokesman General Asim Saleem Bajwa said military engineers were still trying to restore communication lines while relief supplies were reaching those affected by the disaster through air transportation.

On October, 2005 another strong earthquake hit Pakistan and Kashmir’s Pakistani administered territory, leaving 80,000 people dead. The quake displaced 3 million people mostly from Pakistan's Kashmir region.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government will help the victims of the quake as he visited some damaged areas around the Khyber Pathtunkwa Province.


TRTWorld and agencies