6.5 Quake Shakes Pakistan, Afghanistan

At least 11 died, including girl killed in stampede
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2023 4:53 PM CDT
Updated Mar 22, 2023 12:33 AM CDT
Strong 6.5 Quake Rattles Pakistan, Afghanistan
Rescue worker unload earthquake victims from an ambulance at a hospital in Saidu Sharif, a town in Pakistan's Swat valley, Tuesday, March 21, 2023.   (AP Photo/Naveed Ali)

This story has been updated with the latest death toll. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled much of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday, sending panicked residents fleeing from homes and offices and frightening people even in remote villages. At least nine people died in Pakistan and two in Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday. More than 200 people were brought to hospitals in the Swat valley region of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in a state of shock, Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan's emergency services told the AP. "These terrified people collapsed, and some of them collapsed because of the shock of the earthquake," he said. Faizi said one girl was killed in a stampede of fleeing people, and a man whose roof collapsed on him was hospitalized.

The powerful tremors sent many people fleeing their homes and offices in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. Media reports suggested cracks had appeared in some apartment buildings in the city. The scene was repeated in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan. "The quake was so strong and terrifying, we thought houses are collapsing on us, people were all shouting and were shocked," said Shafiullah Azimi, a Kabul resident. The US Geological Survey said the center of the quake was located 25 miles south-southeast of Jurm in Afghanistan's mountainous Hindu Kush region, bordering Pakistan and Tajikistan. It said the depth of the earthquake was 116 miles. The region is prone to violent seismic upheavals. A magnitude 7.6 quake in 2005 killed thousands of people in Pakistan and Kashmir.

(More earthquake stories.)

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