The toll in Tuesday’s earthquake that struck northern Pakistan and occupied Kashmir rose to 38 on Wednesday, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lieutenant General Afzal told Express Tribune. The toll may rise as close to 160 people are said to be in a critical condition.
At least 452 people have been injured in Pakistan, PTI reported. The worst hit city is Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where 24 people lost their lives. Nine were killed in Jatlan and one in Jhelum.
The epicentre was in the Pakistan-India border region in Jammu and Kashmir at a depth of 40 km. The earthquake’s magnitude was 5.8 on the Richter Scale, and tremors were felt in parts of India’s National Capital Region, Jammu and Punjab.
Many people in the affected parts in Pakistan and occupied Kashmir spent the night on the roadside or in parks as aftershocks continued to rock the region. “The situation is slowly returning to normal, the level of panic is now less among the people, although an aftershock was felt at night,” Deputy Inspector General Sardar Gulfaraz Khan told Express Tribune. There were reports of massive power outages and shortage of water and food.
The Pakistan Army has started repair work on damaged roads. “By tomorrow, small vehicles will be able to use the roads that were affected by the earthquake,” said Afzal. He added that 1,000 food packets will reach the affected areas soon. The government will build tents for those whose houses were damaged or destroyed.
Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the government would compensate the families of those killed in the earthquake. “An initial assessment is being done and soon a relief package will be announced by the government of Pakistan,” she said.