Dozens killed as quake hits Pakistan-administered Kashmir

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Several homes and infrastructure were damaged beyond repair following the quake on Tuesday

At least 25 people have beenc confirmed dead and more than 300 injured when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir and areas in Punjab province.

Tuesday's quake hit 22km (14 miles) north of the city of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US geological agency, USGS, said.

Al Jazeera  reported on Wednesday from Mirpur near the quake's epicentre,, that many some of those who were injured had serious injuries, and it is likely that the death toll could go up.

Mirpur police chief Gul Faraz told  that the damage was mainly limited to the area around Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, located about 85km (53 miles) southeast of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

"Our main road that goes along the canal was badly damaged and a bridge was destroyed. People are being brought in on motorcycles from there," he said.

Local disaster management officials told  they were still gathering reports from the site of the earthquake, but had received word of damage to infrastructure.

"We have reports of cracks in the roads there," said disaster management official Ammar Raza Shaikh. 

Tahir Mahmood, a senior police official in Rawalakot, about 80km (50 miles) from Mirpur, said "there is a lot of damage to infrastructure [in Mirpur]".

"Roads seem to have developed cracks and sunk. Lots of vehicles were thrown around."

Electricity supply to Mirpur and Kotli districts was cut off, the National Disaster Management Authority said in a statement.

"So far, 200 tents, 800 blankets and 110 rescuers have been dispatched to the scene," the statement added. 

 

Indian news agency the Press Trust of India reported that people rushed from their homes and offices in panic in several places, including in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.

In October 2015, a magnitude 7.5-quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people, flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

The country was also hit by a magnitude-7.6 quake on October 8, 2005, that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Source: aljazeera.com

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