At least 11 dead after 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Pakistan, Afghanistan – National

A magnitude-6.5 earthquake shook much of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday, causing panicked residents to flee their homes and offices and terrifying people in remote villages. At least 11 people have died in both countries.

Bilal Faij, spokesman for Pakistan’s emergency services, said more than 100 people were taken to hospitals in the Swat Valley region of northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in a state of shock.

“Frightened people fell, some from the shock of the earthquake,” he said. Feiji said most were discharged later.

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Faij and other officials said nine people were killed as roofs collapsed in various parts of northwest Pakistan. Dozens of people were injured in the quake, which was centered in Afghanistan and felt on the border with Tajikistan.

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Taimu Khan, spokesman for the Northwest State Disaster Management Authority, said at least 19 mud-brick houses had collapsed in remote areas. “We are still collecting data on the damage,” he said.

Strong tremors forced many people to flee their homes and offices in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, with some reciting verses from the Koran, the holy book of Islam. According to media reports, several apartments in the city were cracked.

In Afghanistan, Sharafat Zaman Amal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health appointed by the Taliban, said at least two people had been killed and about 20 injured in the earthquake in Afghanistan so far.

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“Unfortunately, the earthquake was so powerful in most parts of the country that there could be more casualties,” Zaman Amar said, adding that all hospitals and medical facilities were prepared to save lives. I added that it is done.

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The scene was repeated in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan.

“The earthquake was very strong and terrifying. I thought my house was collapsing.

Another Kabul resident, Aziz Ahmad, 45, said, “I have never experienced such a strong earthquake in my life. Everyone was terrified.” Neighbors had been away from home for hours for fear of aftershocks, he added. “We didn’t have the courage to go home.”

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According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the magnitude-6.5 quake was 40 kilometers (25 miles) south-southeast of Jhurum in Afghanistan’s mountainous Hindu Kush region, which borders Pakistan and Tajikistan. The quake struck 188 km (116 miles) deep at the surface and was felt over a wide area.

Physician Laksinda Tasheed was at her hospital in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore when the earthquake struck. “I immediately told the patient to move to a safer place,” she said.

Khurram Shahzad, who lives in the Pakistani garrison of Rawalpindi, said he was having dinner with his family at a restaurant when the walls began to shake.

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“I immediately thought it was something big and walked out of the restaurant,” he told the Associated Press by phone. He said he saw hundreds of people standing in the street. I was.

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The situation was similar in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, where people were seen standing outside their homes and offices.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said in a statement that he urged disaster management officials to remain vigilant to deal with any situation.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban government, tweeted that the Ministry of Public Health has ordered all medical centers to stand by.

This area is prone to catastrophic changes due to severe earthquakes. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck in 2005, killing thousands in Pakistan and Kashmir.

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Last year, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan slammed into a rugged mountainous region, destroying stone and adobe houses. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers estimate the total death toll from the quake at 1,150, with hundreds injured, but the UN offers a lower estimate of 770.

Associated Press writers Rahim Fayez of Islamabad, Riaz Khan of Peshawar and Abdul Sutter of Quetta, Pakistan contributed to the report.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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