Over 260 dead as earthquake strikes Afghanistan, Pakistan
A massive earthquake struck remote and impoverished regions of northern Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 263 people as it shook buildings across South Asia and knocked out power and communications to already-isolated areas.
The 7.5-magnitude quake was centred deep beneath the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan's sparsely populated Badakhshan province, which borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China, the US Geological Survey said.
In the Afghan capital of Kabul, buildings shook for up to 45 seconds, walls cracked, and cars rolled in the streets as electricity went out. Frightened workers who had just returned from lunch also rushed from swaying buildings in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and to the south in the Indian capital of New Delhi.
"I was praying when the massive earthquake rattled my home. I came out in a panic," said Munir Anwar of Liaquat Pur in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province.
At least 228 people were killed in Pakistan, with more than 1,000 injured, while Afghan officials reported 33 dead and more than 200 injured, and authorities in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region reported two deaths. Officials expected the casualty toll to rise as they reached the remote areas.
Authorities struggled to reach the hardest-hit areas in Afghanistan near the epicentre, located 73 kilometres (45 miles) south of Fayzabad,
the capital of Badakhshan province.