The official death toll in Pakistan from the mammoth October 8 earthquake jumped to more than 73,000, with about the same number listed as severely injured, the army's disaster relief chief said Tuesday.
Top relief official Maj. Gen. Farooq Ahmed Khan said 73,276 people have been confirmed dead in Pakistan, up from the 57,597 announced earlier. More than 69,000 people sustained severe injuries, with the total number of injuries much higher, he said.
The announcement brings the government's numbers more in line with those being used by local officials, who have been saying for more than a week that they believed at least 79,000 people died in Pakistan in the temblor. Another 1,350 died in India's portion of Kashmir.
No reason was given for the sudden spike, but the government has been proceeding cautiously in its official count. Many areas in the quake zone have still not been reached, and the death toll is expected to rise further.
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