Toll rises to 37, over 452 injured in Pak quake
Islamabad: The death toll in the devastating earthquake that rattled Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and several north-eastern cities in the country rose to 37 on Wednesday as authorities stepped up rescue operations to save people trapped in debris of several toppled buildings.
The epicentre of the powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake, which occurred at around 4 pm on Tuesday at a depth of only 10 kilometers, was near Mirpur city in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), roughly 20 kilometers north of Jhelum in Punjab, according to the US Geological Survey.
The earthquake resurrected the haunting memories of a monster tremor that
had wrecked the region 14 years ago.
The quake which also jolted several cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province killed 37 people, Mirpur Divisional Commissioner Muhammad Tayyab was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
According to the paper, figures showed that the worst-hit was Mirpur with 24 dead, nine in Jatlan and one person lost his life in Jhelum.
Other people died in the areas located between Mirpur and Jari Kas, PoK's State Disaster Management Authority Secretary Shahid Mohyiddin said.
The number of casualties was likely to increase as around 100 of the injured were admitted to different hospitals in a critical condition, the report quoted the SDMA official as saying.
The areas worst hit were Mirpur city, a small town Jatlan and two villages Manda and Afzalpur, where buildings and homes collapsed, trees were uprooted and cracks appeared on roads large enough to swallow cars.
Other cities where the tremors were felt included Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Sargodha, Mansehra, Gujrat, Chitral, Malakand, Swat, Sahiwal, and Rahim Yar Khan. The quake was powerful and created panic as people ran out of building, eyewitnesses said.
"I lost my house. I lost everything," Abdullah Khan, whose home in Jatlan village on the outskirts of Mirpur was flattened by the quake, was quoted as saying by the paper.
The affected people
are also experiencing water and food shortages and amid reports of looting of relief material in the Sang and Sanwal Sharif area.