Rescue efforts continue in Afghanistan after powerful quake

Powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Afghanistan, also shakes Pakistan and India

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

People stand outside their offices after 7.7-magnitude earthquake in northern Afghanistan is felt in Lahore, Pakistan on October 26 2015

Updated Oct 27, 2015

A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale hit northeastern Afghanistan for over a minute on Monday according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

It has been reported that tremors from the earthquake that hit the Hindu Kush mountain range were felt in Kabul, Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and India’s capital New Delhi.

The death toll has risen to at least 275 and up to 2, 000 people are reported to be injured.

According to Pakistani officials at least 228 people have been killed and nearly 600 others have been injured in the country, while Afghan officials said that at least 63 people were killed and over 200 are injured.

During a stampede, 12 school girls died while trying escape the school building in Takhar, Afghanistan.  

"The students rushed to escape the school building in Taluqan city [capital of Takhar], triggering a stampede," Takhar's Education Department Chief Enayat Naweed told AFP.

"Twelve students, all minors, were killed and 35 others were injured," he said.

Rescue efforts

Rescue efforts continued overnight, while thousands of peoples spent the night outdoors due to fear of aftershocks.

"Rescue work is ongoing, and tents, blankets and sleeping mats are being provided," said Latif ur Rehman, a Pakistani disaster management official.

Several helicopters were sent by Pakistans’s military and civilian authorities to areas of the crisis to examin damaged areas and conduct rescue operations, said the National Disaster Management Authority.

The tragic earthquake came six months after Nepal faced one of its worst quakes ever recorded on April 25

Numerous relief work and resucue operations continue in Afghanistan, as more than 50 people are reported dead in several provinces.

Deeper concerns have risen with the arrival of the chilling winter weather and hundreds of homes destroyed.

The death toll is expected to rise in the upcoming days, as communication has been mared by the quake across the region.

Several countires have offered to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan including the United States and Iran 

A White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said that the US Agency for International Development was ready to provide emergency shelter and relief supply supplies.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Shari stated that he would personally oversee the rescue efforts on his offical trip back from the US. 
"We will try our best to deal with this disaster using our own resources," he said. 

Dr Muhammad Sadiq, the head of emergency services at the Pakistani government hospital in Peshawar, earlier said that more than 100 people were injured.

"Many more injured are still coming to hospital. Many are still under rubble," Sadiq has said.

The intensity of the quake was initially reported as being a  7.7-magnitude, before this figure was lowered to 7.6 and 7.5 by the USGS.




TRTWorld and agencies