Up to 30,000 dead after Asia quake

Rescue teams pull two survivors from rubble 24 hours after quake.

By
October 8, 2005 14:46
3 minute read.
india quake rescuers 88

india quake AP 88. (photo credit: )

 
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The death toll from the earthquake that struck Pakistan, India and Afghanistan went above 25,000 on Sunday, the Pakistani army spokesman said, as rescuers struggled to dig victims from destroyed apartment buildings, schools and mud-brick homes. Read earthquake coverage direct from Indian and Pakistani news media . Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told Pakistan's Geo TV network early Sunday that more than 25,000 had been killed. A doctor on the scene of the collapse of a 19-story building said Sunday that rescue teams pulled two survivors from the rubble of the apartment building in Islamabad, a full day after the quake. The United Nations sent emergency coordinators to worst-hit Pakistan to prepare the global body's response. Centered in the forested mountains of Pakistani Kashmir, Saturday's magnitude-7.6 quake sparked landslides and razed entire villages. In the capitals of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, buildings shook and walls swayed for about a minute, and panicked people ran from their homes and offices. Tremors continued for hours afterward. Communications throughout the region were cut. The US Geological Survey said on its Web site that the quake hit at 8:50 a.m. local time and had a magnitude of 7.6. It was centered about 100 kilometers northeast of Islamabad in the forested mountains of Pakistani Kashmir. Most of the casualties were in Pakistan. "This is my conservative guess, and the death toll could be much higher," Anwar told Pakistan's Aaj television station. He said most homes in Muzaffarabad, the area's capital, were damaged, and schools and hospitals collapsed. Army soldiers and local volunteers were rescuing people from under the debris of collapsed houses. Telephone lines were down. Bridges had developed cracks, but traffic was passing over them. The USGS reported at least five aftershocks in Pakistan, with the strongest measuring magnitude 6.3 and located about 110 kilometers north of Islamabad. Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ordered the military to extend "all-out help" to quake-hit areas and appealed to the nation to stay calm. Helicopters took troops to damaged areas, but landslides were hindering rescue efforts. US military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara said the quake was felt at Bagram, the main American base in Afghanistan, but he had no reports of damage at bases around the country. "It was so strong that I saw buildings swaying. It was terrifying," said Hari Singh, a guard in an apartment complex in a suburb of India's capital, New Delhi. Hundreds of residents raced down from their apartments after their furniture started shaking. The quake also jolted parts of Bangladesh, but no casualties or damage were reported there.

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