Sunday, October 09, 2005

Quake toll rises to 18,000 in worst-hit Pakistan

The death toll from a huge south Asia earthquake rose to 18,000 in worst-hit Pakistan alone on Sunday, as rescuers dug out hundreds of dead children buried under schools and found towns and villages reduced to rubble. Teams laboured with cranes and earth-moving equipment or used their bare hands in a desperate search for survivors trapped beneath the rubble from Saturday's quake.

Striking out from the forest clad mountains of Pakistani Kashmir near the border with India, the quake was the strongest to hit south Asia in a century. Muzaffarabad, in Pakistani Kashmir, on Sunday. A Pakistani military official said 18,000 were dead, confirming a figure given to CNN by President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman, Major-General Shaukat Sultan. A further 40,000 people were injured in the 7.6 magnitude quake that struck at about 8:50 a.m. (0350 GMT) on Saturday, Sultan said, calling it the worst devastation in Pakistan's history.

The quake also battered Indian Kashmir, killing more than 300 people there, but it was Pakistan's side of the disputed Himalayan region that was worst hit with the majority of deaths there, a military official said. Most houses and government buildings and shops had collapsed in Muzaffarabad, Ali said. Private Geo TV said a military hospital in the small mountain city had been destroyed and injured people were lying in the courtyard of the one working hospital waiting for attention from doctors struggling to cope. Read More....

Source: Reuters
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