Earthquake in South Asia: 275 confirmed dead, more than 2 thousand injured
Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The earthquake that struck yesterday the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan has left at least 275 confirmed dead and more than 2 thousand injured according to Kabul and Islamabad authorities. Most of the victims are Pakistani. Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah, expressing "condolences for the loss of so many lives," added that the quake "is the strongest registered in decades." The government, he stressed, "is working to bring assistance to those affected”.
The worst hit areas is northern Pakistan, with 214 confirmed dead. In the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there were 179 deaths and 1,800 injured. The Pakistani government has stressed that the first aid "will continue unabated" and the priority "is to save lives." The Pakistan Red Crescent has sent several teams to the area.
The Afghan government has also confirmed the terrible fate of 12 students of a middle school in Taluqan, who "died crushed by the feet of their comrades who were trying in every way to escape from the building”.
The earthquake originated in the mountainous area of the Hindu Kush, at a depth of 213.5 kilometers from the earth's surface. Rescue operations are complicated by their geographical area, one of the least developed of Afghanistan and one of the poorest. According to an official from the northeastern province of Badakhshan, the teams "will not arrive in the affected areas before this evening [October 27th ed]."
The governments of India, Iran and the US Armed Forces stationed in Afghanistan have offered to help, but Kabul and Islamabad claim that so far they do not need outside assistance. The quake was also felt in India: the inhabitants of Delhi took to the streets in their thousands while the buildings were shaking. Even some buildings in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, have been damaged by the quake.