Dozens killed as earthquake hits Pakistan

Emergency Digest – At least 25 people have been confirmed dead and more than 300 others injured following a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hits Jhelum in Pakistan.

Several homes and infrastructure were damaged beyond repair following the quake on Tuesday.

At least 25 people have been confirmed dead and more than 300 injured when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir and areas in Punjab province.

Tuesday’s quake hit 22km (14 miles) north of the city of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US geological agency, USGS, said.

Reports say some of those wounded had serious injuries and it was likely that the death toll could rise.

He said many residents in the area stayed outside their homes overnight for fear of more aftershocks.

Mirpur police chief Gul Faraz told newsmen that the damage was mainly limited to the area around Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, located about 85km (53 miles) southeast of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

“Our main road that goes along the canal was badly damaged and a bridge was destroyed. People are being brought in on motorcycles from there,” he said.

Local disaster management officials told reporters that they were still gathering reports from the site of the earthquake, but had received word of damage to infrastructure.

“We have reports of cracks in the roads there,” said disaster management official Ammar Raza Shaikh.

Tahir Mahmood, a senior police official in Rawalakot, about 80km (50 miles) from Mirpur, said “there is a lot of damage to infrastructure [in Mirpur]”.

“Roads seem to have developed cracks and sunk. Lots of vehicles were thrown around.”

Electricity supply to Mirpur and Kotli districts was cut off, the National Disaster Management Authority said in a statement.

“So far, 200 tents, 800 blankets and 110 rescuers have been dispatched to the scene,” the statement added.

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