Death toll from Pakistan, Afghanistan quake rises to 21
Police officers and people gather at a hospital where earthquake victims are brought, in Saidu Sharif, a town Pakistan's Swat valley, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled much of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday, sending panicked residents fleeing from homes and offices and frightening people even in remote villages. (AP Photo/Naveed Ali)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 23, 2023 1:18PM EDT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The death toll from a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck much of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan earlier this week rose to 21 on Thursday, after eight more deaths were reported in remote areas, officials said.
Ten died in Afghanistan and 11 in Pakistan after the temblor rattled this South Asian region late on Tuesday. More than more than 130 people were reported injured when roofs of hundreds of homes collapsed.
Most of the damage was reported in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan.
Shafiullah Rahimi, a Taliban spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Disaster Management, said the quake killed 10 there and injured 60. He said 800 houses were damaged across Afghanistan.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the magnitude 6.5 quake was 40 kilometers (25 miles) south-southeast of the district of Jurm in Afghanistan’s mountainous Hindukush region, bordering Pakistan and Tajikistan. The quake struck 188 kilometers (116 miles) deep below the Earth’s surface.
The region is prone to violent seismic upheavals. A magnitude 7.6 quake in 2005 killed thousands of people in Pakistan and disputed Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan.