Re: Quake toll rises to 18,000 in worst-hit Pakistan
- I woke up to this story and have been watching as I have been in and
out today, but it just gets worse. This is so sad. This is when the
international community needs to commit themselves to action as so
much needs to be done.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Greg Cannon
> Quake toll rises to 18,000 in worst-hit Pakistan
> By Mian Khursheed 24 minutes ago
> MANSEHRA, Pakistan (Reuters) - The death toll from a
> huge south Asia earthquake rose to 18,000 in worst-hit
> Pakistan alone on Sunday, as rescuers dug out hundreds
> of dead children buried under their schools and found
> villages reduced to rubble.
> Teams laboured with cranes and earth-moving equipment
> or used their bare hands in hopes of finding survivors
> trapped beneath shattered masonry from Saturday's
> Striking out from the forest clad mountains of
> Kashmir near the border with India, the quake was the
> strongest to hit south Asia in a century.
> "When the earthquake came it was like Judgment Day,"
> said villager Fazal Elahi, recalling the horror of
> houses collapsing around him as he grieved quietly
> next to the body of his 14-year-old daughter.
> A Pakistani military official said 18,000 were dead,
> confirming a figure given to CNN by President Pervez
> Musharraf's spokesman, Major-General Shaukat Sultan.
> A further 40,000 people were injured in the 7.6
> magnitude quake that struck nearly 24 hours ago,
> Sultan said, calling it the worst devastation in
> Pakistan's history.
> "There are many villages that have been wiped off the
> face of this earth," Sultan said.
> Pakistan's side of Kashmir, the Himalayan region
> disputed with India, was expected to be worst hit.
> Many areas had not been reached because landslides
> triggered by the quake had wiped out roads, Sultan
> The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor occurred at
> a depth of 10 km. It struck about 95 km northeast of
> Islamabad and was felt across the subcontinent,
> shaking buildings in the Afghan, Indian and
> Bangladeshi capitals.
> The first quake was followed over the next 18 hours by
> more than 20 aftershocks with magnitudes of between
> 4.5 and 6.3.
> SCHOOLS CRUSHED
> Some 400 children were killed at two schools in
> Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.
> Damage in Pakistani Kashmir's main city, Muzaffarabad,
> was believed to be severe.
> "Indications are that almost 50 percent of the homes
> have been destroyed," Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told
> BBC World television, referring to Muzaffarabad and
> neighbouring towns.
> Private Geo TV reported that some of Muzaffarabad's
> main buildings, including a military hospital, had
> been destroyed, and that injured people were lying in
> the courtyard of the one working hospital waiting for
> attention from doctors struggling to cope.
> A military spokesman said 215 Pakistani soldiers were
> killed in the hardest-hit areas.
> Indian Kashmir was also battered by the earthquake.
> Police said more than 300 people had been killed and
> hundreds injured.
> Half of the Indian deaths were in Uri, the last big
> town on the road connecting the two sides of the
> violence-scarred region. The dead included 15
> soldiers, some in bunkers close to a military
> ceasefire line.
> Landslides blocked the 300-km (190-mile) road that
> connects Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian
> Kashmir, to the rest of India to the south. The
> Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road linking Indian and
> Pakistani Kashmir, reopened to traffic this year for
> the first time in nearly 60 years, was also blocked.
> Ghulam Rashool, an official at the Pakistan
> Meteorological Department, said it was the strongest
> earthquake in South Asia since the 1905 Kangra
> earthquake that killed 20,000 people in India's Madhya
> Pradesh state.
> In the Pakistani capital Islamabad, 82 survivors were
> recovered from two multi-storey apartment blocks that
> were reduced to rubble. A government official said
> rescuers also found 14 bodies, including those of at
> least three foreigners, an Egyptian and two Japanese.
> Pledges of aid from around the world came within
> President George W. Bush said U.S. aid was on the way
> and Britain said it was sending search and rescue
> experts, sniffer dogs and aid workers.
> U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan sent condolences to
> Pakistan, and a U.N. Disaster and Coordination Team in
> Geneva was on standby to be deployed. Oxfam and other
> aid agencies planned to coordinate their response with
> the United Nations.
> Turkey, which has suffered major earthquakes in the
> past, said it had sent two military planes carrying
> aid, doctors and rescue workers. Japan sent a team of
> 49 aid workers.
> In a further sign of easing tension between India and
> Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called
> Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to offer
> (Additional reporting by Robert Birsel and Suzanna
> Koster in Islamabad, Kamil Zaheer in Baramulla, Y.P.
> Rajesh in New Delhi)