- The city of Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, has suffered extensive damage.
- Due to the disaster, a state of emergency has since been declared in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
- In 2005, Pakistan was hit by a 7.6 magnitude that left more than 73,000 people dead and left approximately 3.5 million others homeless, mainly in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
A strong 5.8-magnitude earthquake has killed at least 37 people, with the death toll expected to rise as the rescue operation is still on. Several hundred others have been left nursing injuries. The tragedy occurred in Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. According to local authorities, the quake also caused massive damage to homes and shops.
The city of Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, has suffered further damage. Its main hospital and highway were damaged, blocking aid to the region. Doctors were seen helping people outside the region’s main hospital because of lack of beds. The natural disaster has caused despair across the country, including in the capital Islamabad, where people rushed from buildings to the streets for fear of being hurt by collapsing buildings.
Mushtaf Minhas, Information Minister in Pakistan’s Kashmir, said women and children were among the dead, mostly due to the collapse of walls and roofs. “We are supplying tents, food and other essential items to earthquake-affected people. We are facing a tragedy but we will try our best to ensure the rehabilitation of affected people as soon as possible,” he told the Associated Press.
City Structure is Impaired
Raja Qaiser, the deputy commissioner, said rescue workers were still transporting victims to hospitals in Mirpur. Due to the disaster, a state of emergency has since been declared in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. TV footage also showed broken roads, shops, houses, and wrecked vehicles in Mirpur as well as sinking houses in the villages due to the massive earthquake.
Despair in the Capital City
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the quake had an epicenter near the mountainous city of Jehlum, east of Punjab Province. The quake rocked walls across the country and left people waiting in the streets, afraid of aftershocks.
“The quake was 10km (six miles) deep… the worst hit was Mirpur,” Pakistan’s chief meteorologist, Muhammad Riaz, told the international news agency, AFP.
Mohammad Afzal, a member of the National Authority for National Disaster Control, said the main dam in the region was nonetheless safe. In response to the quake, the Pakistani Army dispatched troops and medical staff to the earthquake-affected areas to assist civilian authorities in rescuing the victims. Some residents in Mirpur said shortly after the earthquake that they left their homes reciting verses from the Koran, the holy book of Islam and asking God for protection.
President and Prime Minister Mourn Victims
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi in their respective messages of condolences expressed their grief over the losses caused by the earthquake and sent their heartfelt condolences to the families that lost their loved ones. The quake was also felt in the northwest and in many cities east of Punjab Province but caused no damage or death.
In 2005, Pakistan was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that left more than 73,000 people dead and left approximately 3.5 million others homeless, mainly in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.