Death toll increases after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake shakes Afghanistan and Pakistan

People come out of a restaurant after a tremor was felt in Lahore, Pakistan. (Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

At least eleven people have died, and hundreds have been injured after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Afghanistan and Pakistan, with vibrations being felt as far away as New Delhi, the capital of India.

Tuesday, the United States Geological Service (USGS) reported that the earthquake's epicentre was located 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of the Afghan town of Jurm, close to the borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Separately, Pakistan's Meteorological Department estimated a magnitude of 6.8 and later reported an aftershock of 3.7 volumes in the Hindu Kush region along the country's border with Afghanistan.

Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan's Rescue 1122 service in the northwest of the country, and other officials reported to the Associated Press that nine people were killed as roofs fell in various locations of northwest Pakistan.

Faizi informed Al Jazeera that a 10-year-old girl in Swat and a 24-year-old male in Lower Dir perished when the walls of their separate homes collapsed.

According to Faizi, landslides have wreaked havoc in the Swat district, located 180 kilometres (113 miles) northwest of Islamabad.

"The tremors damaged more than 20 structures, and dozens of people were hurt," he claimed.

At least 250 individuals were treated in hospitals in the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of whom 15 had minor injuries, and more than 200 were unconscious. According to officials, fifty-two individuals were injured in different regions of the area.

The prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, instructed the country's disaster management experts to be cautious following the earthquake.

Sharafat Zaman Amar, the Taliban's authorized spokesperson for the public health ministry in Afghanistan, informed the Associated Press that at least two persons had been confirmed dead and about twenty others injured due to the earthquake.

Zaman Amar told the Associated Press, "Unfortunately, there could be more casualties as the earthquake was so big in most of the country."

Tremors felt in Kabul

The earthquake was felt in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, and other Pakistani cities, including Islamabad and Lahore.

Sarah Hasan, a resident of Islamabad, reported to Al Jazeera that her home's walls shook when the earthquake struck the Pakistani capital.

"It began gently and then gained momentum," the 43-year-old stated.

"The house was vibrating, and objects were trembling. Everything began to quiet down, and after a few minutes, it felt like everything had returned to normal.

Kashmir, under the Indian administration, was also reportedly shaken by witnesses. Many fled their homes in panic as they recalled two deadly earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria last month, killing more than 50,000 individuals.

"When we sat in our home, we noticed everything around us shaking. Muhammad Yasin, a resident of Srinagar's capital city, told Al Jazeera that he found everyone in the street crying when he hurried outside. "Initially, the earthquake was not too severe, but as we rushed outside, we saw everyone crying."

"The images of the destruction in Turkey and Syria are still vivid." "For a while, we thought the world was ending," he added.

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan in 2012, killing more than one thousand people.

Publish : 2023-03-22 10:16:00

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