South Asia earthquake: 40,000 dead and rising

The strongest earthquake in almost a century shook the south Asian subcontinent on Saturday, causing tens of thousands of casualties. The 7.6 magnitude quake was centered about 60 miles northeast of Islamabad, in the disputed Kashmir region near the Indian border. The area was further hit by about 20 strong aftershocks with magnitudes between 4.5 and 6.3.

Buildings shook in the capital cities of Pakistan, India, Afganistan and Bangladesh.

Within 48-hours, the official death toll rose to over 40,000. It is expected to rise significantly as the Pakistan Government has already reported that entire towns and villages were wiped out. Also, many areas near the epicentre cannot be reached because landslides triggered by the quake wiped out the connecting roads.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Given its location, and its strength, I imagine it must have affected parts of Xinjiang too.

It’ll be interesting to see how China reacts. If the Karakoram Highway is undamaged (which seems unlikely), then China would be better placed than almost anyone to help with rescue efforts in some of the worst-hit areas in Pakistan.

October 9, 2005 @ 3:28 am | Comment

…and also, Pakistan is one of China most long-standing allies. I’ve got my eye on it. I’ll report on China’s reaction.

October 9, 2005 @ 5:11 am | Comment

According to the People’s Daily, China have already despatched a 49-person rescue team made up of medical staff and seismological experts, together with six search dogs, eight tons of search equipment and nine tons of relief materials.

October 9, 2005 @ 5:31 am | Comment

This puts all the other natural disasters this year to shame. That figure of 19,000 plus must surely be a preliminary estimate. From what I have read, large parts of Pakistan and India are without communications and are wrecked. This is going to be a big one. Very big.

October 9, 2005 @ 6:13 am | Comment

So often when medias report disasters, the conservative, initial estimates, based on the the first trickles of verifiable information, are way too low.

The possible monumental scale of this catastrophe is difficult to comprehend.

October 9, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

Horrific disaster. I hope China will do everything possible to give aid.

October 9, 2005 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

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