Friday, May 2, 2014

2,800 dead (Nahrin, Afghanistan)

As if man-made miseries are not enough now nature makes a cold call as well. There was a major earthquake on March 03 which killed 100 people, however this appears to be much more severe in terms of human impact. The tremors were felt as far away as Islamabad.

More than 1,500 people are feared dead and 4,000 injured after a series of earthquakes struck northern Afghanistan on Monday night and Tuesday, government officials said. A Foreign Ministry official said the district capital of Nahrin, near the epicentre in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains, had been destroyed and a Defence Ministry spokesman said 1,500 homes had crumbled.

The Defence Ministry spokesman told Reuters: "Our reports say there are 1,500 dead, 4,000 injured, at least 1,500 homes destroyed and 20,000 people are homeless." "The district capital of Nahrin was destroyed," he said of a city of mainly mud buildings in the foothills of the Hindu Kush.

"We are sending rescue teams but aftershocks make relief efforts dangerous," the spokesman said.

This is the second major earthquake to hit northern Afghanistan this month. More than 100 people were buried by a landslide in a remote village in neighbouring Samangan province on March 3 after the last quake.

Aid workers in the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, some 200 km (120 miles) northwest of Nahrin, said they felt the quake on Monday night and ran out into the streets. Light shocks were also felt in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

The Seismological Office in the Pakistan city of Peshawar said the earthquake struck at 1457 GMT on Monday and measured 6.0 on the Richter scale. "It's epicentre was in the Hindu Kush mountains,"
said official Lataf Gul. "Since then aftershocks are being recorded. The last recorded was at 0655 GMT today (Tuesday) with an intensity of 5.0 on the Richter scale."

Earthquakes are relatively frequent in the Hindu Kush mountain range. In 1998, two earthquakes killed about 8,500 people and destroyed tens of thousands of houses in Takhar and Badakhshan provinces.