The death toll in Monday’s massive earthquake reached 280 on Tuesday. The earthquake, measuring 7.5 on Richter scale and with its epicentre in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush mountain range, largely rocked Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is feared that the number of the dead could go further up.
Authorities on Tuesday intensified rescue and relief operations in the areas affected by the earthquake, which lasted several seconds on Monday afternoon.
The quake was centered deep beneath to the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, which borders Pakistan, Tajikistan, and China.
The toll includes most deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but tremors were also felt in India and many of its cities.
Pakistan’s government official Amir Afaq said, “We are transporting tents, medicines and other items to quake—hit areas.”
Pakistani army spokesman Lt. Gen. Asil Saleem Bajwa said that the troops and the military doctors had reached the affected zones and were involved in rescue work.
Munir Anwar of Liaquat Pur in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province said, “I was praying when the massive earthquake rattled my home. I came out in panic.”
Tremors lasting several seconds were also felt in New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Shimla, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Pakistani cities of Karachi and Islamabad, and Afghan capital Kabul. Phone lines went down in Srinagar due to earthquake.
The tremors in New Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon were felt between 2.40 pm and 2.5o pm, and almost immediately many people posted on twitter pictures of cracks that developed in their houses due to the earthquake.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake was 213 km deep and centered 254 km northeast of Kabul in Badakhshan province. The organization initially measured the magnitude at 7.7, but later revised it to 7.5
The quake was felt in most of the northern parts of Pakistan including such major cities as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargoda and Kohat and as far south as Multan, officials said.
Vineet Gahlot, director of seismology at the Indian Meteorological Department, said on Monday the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7. But that was before the US Geological Survey revised the measurement to 7.5.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday contacted Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and offered help.
A little over 10 years ago, a 7.6 magnitude quake in another part of northern Pakistan had killed about 75,000 people.