Monday, October 26, 2015

Massive Quake (7.5) Hits Afghanistan - At Least 64 Fatalities, Hundreds Injured

Deadly massive earthquake in the Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan - At least 64 fatalities, hundreds injured

Update 10:06 UTC : At least 30 people killed in Pakistan alone. 12 more in Afghanistan (12 schoolgirls have been killed in Afghan city of Talooqan trying to escape the earthquake, head of provincial disaster agency said.)

Update 09:55 UTC : At least 20 people killed.
16 dead across Pakistan
Six people, including children, were killed in Swat, while four people were killed in the Bajaur tribal region after buildings collapsed in the area.
An eight-year-old child was killed in Kallar Kahar, where from one casualty was also reported from Kasur after the roof of a house collapsed.
A 14-year-old child died in the Islamgarh area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Mirpur region after a school wall collapsed.
A wall collapsed in Sargodha, killing one woman and injuring 10 people, while three are injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Five people were killed in Chitral. another person was reported killed in Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi.
At least 194 injured were brought to Swat's Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital, which does not have adequate medical facilities.
More than 100 wounded have been admitted to Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital.
Tremors have been felt in major cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Kohat and Malakand.
Rescue 1122 has been put on high alert in Punjab. The disaster response force is on standby and a code red has been imposed, Director General Rescue Punjab Retd Brig Dr Ashraf Zia said. Rescue 1122 Spokesman Jam Sajjad said there were no reports of any deaths in Lahore.
Communication services have been disrupted in Islamabad, where walls swayed back and forth and people poured out of office buildings in a panic, reciting verses from the Holy Quran.
A building has also reportedly collapsed in Peshawar. Several mud huts collapsed in Balochistan's Zhob district.

Update 09:49 UTC : This is what we fear the most. LANDSLIDES who can devastate whole villages.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.49.03

Update 09:43 UTC : The number of fatalities reported so soon after the earthquake is very bad news. Most of the very strong shaken area is very remote and we expect that many more victims maybe a reality. Let's hope that we are wrong.

Update 09:10 UTC : Kunduz, the area which was shortly taken over by the Taliban a few weeks ago is inside the very strong shaking area.
Update 09:05 UTC : Based on the USGS Pager about 160,000 people will have been exposed to a MMI VII shaking or a very strong shaking.

Update 08:31 UTC : Normally these deep earthquakes are not generating a lot of damage up to a Magnitude of 7, but this earthquake is far more powerful and therefor we expected at least dome major secondary damage, mainly due to landslides. Depending on the time of shaking, we also think that houses maybe in danger, hopefully only for cracks and not collapsed.
Update 08:22 UTC : A massive deep earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region. Serious secondary damage is not to be excluded due to landslides.

A strong earthquake in northern Afghanistan was felt across much of South Asia on Monday, shaking buildings from Kabul to Delhi, cutting power and communications in some areas and killing at least 18 people.

The United States Geological Survey said the epicenter of the 7.5-magnitude earthquake was in the far northern province of Badakhshan, which borders Tajikistan and China. It said the epicenter was 213 kilometers (130 miles) deep and 73 kilometers (45 miles) south of the Badakhshan capital, Fayzabad.

In Takhar province, west of Badakhshan, at least 12 students at a girls' school were killed in a stampede as they fled shaking buildings, said Sonatullah Taimor, the spokesman for the provincial governor. Another 30 girls were taken to the hospital in the provincial capital of Taluqan.

In Pakistan, at least five people died when homes collapsed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said Mohammad Bilal, a rescue official. He said more than 100 people were wounded in the area. State-run Pakistani TV had earlier reported that a person died when a roof collapsed in the eastern city of Kasur, bringing the total known toll from the quake to 18.
In Badakhshan itself, "there are reports of casualties and destruction" in some remote districts near the epicenter, said the provincial director of the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority, Abdullah Humayoon Dehqan.
Badakhshan's deputy chief of police, Sakhi Dad Haidari, said dozens of houses had been destroyed in two remote and sparsely populated rural districts, with some damage reported in Fayzabad.
Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah called an emergency meeting of the disaster management authority to assess the damage, his senior adviser Omar Samad tweeted.
Abdullah later tweeted that the meeting would assess damage in one of Afghanistan's most vulnerable regions.
Power was cut across much of the Afghan capital, where tremors were felt for around 45 seconds. Houses shook, walls cracked and cars rolled in the street. Officials in the capital could not be immediately reached as telephones appeared to be cut across the country.

International aid organisation CARE has said it is very concerned by the earthquake’s impact on poor and vulnerable people, particularly internally displaced people in Afghanistan. Christina Northey, CARE country director in Afghanistan, said:

Obviously the situation is going to be much worse for poor and vulnerable people, particularly those who have been displaced by the conflict. Plus winter is starting and there has been a noticeable drop in temperature over the past few days.

British experts have been providing some further information and context regarding today’s earthquake. Dr Ilan Kelman, reader in risk, resilience and global health at UCL, said:

Communications appear to have gone down in the worst-affected areas, so it will be some time before we know the full impact. In the meantime, at this stage in the hours afterwards, it will be the locals rescuing people from the rubble, treating the injured, setting up temporary shelter, and catering for immediate physical and psycho-social needs. This situation illustrates the importance of local training for disaster response and of disaster education for everyone, from before kindergarten until after retirement.

David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at the Open University, said:

Today’s earthquake in the Hindu Kush region of northeast Afghanistan was a result of the northward collision of India with central Asia. With a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale it had the potential to be very damaging but fortunately it occurred at a depth of more than 200 km (as they usually are in this area) and so the shaking of the ground surface was less than it would have been for a shallower earthquake of the same magnitude. (The Ghorka earthquake in Nepal on 25 April was magnitude 7.8 and only 8 km deep).
Even so, poorly-constructed homes may have been badly damaged, and in such a mountainous region landslides could have occurred.

Reports are now coming in that 29 people have been killed in northwestern Pakistan alone. Rescue official Latifir Rehman said 21 people were killed and 200 were injured in various parts of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Another official, Fiaz Khan, said at least 8 people were killed and 70 injured in the Bajur tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The Washington Post’s Tim Craig reports that the earthquake hit a region of Pakistan that’s still dealing with a snowstorm that had trapped hundreds of motorists.

Various hospitals and government officials are reporting death and injury rates.
On top of the five people reportedly killed in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports that at least 12 students at a girls’ school were killed in a stampede as they tried to get out of the shaking building in Afghanistan’s Takhar province, west of Badakahshan. 
Sonatullah Taimor, the spokesman for the Takhar provincial governor, said another 30 girls have been taken to the hospital in the provincial capital of Taluqan.
Government officials in Pakistan have said at least 12 people were killed in the northwestern region of the country. Injured people were reportedly pouring into Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital. “We received 50 injured and more are being shifted. The injured suffered multiple injuries due to building collapse,” hospital spokesman Syed Jamil Shah told Reuters.

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck southern Asia on Monday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey said. 
"Reports coming of damage and injuries in north eastern Afghanistan," Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of Afghanistan, said in a tweet. "Disasters authorities to meet within the hour and respond to the needs." 
    The USGS issued an orange alert on the quake. "Significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response," the USGS said.

    The epicenter was 45 kilometers (28 miles) south-southwest of Jarm, Afghanistan, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. CNN teams in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan all felt strong tremors. A USGS map showed that shaking traveled into Tajikistan as well.
    The quake's epicenter was at a depth of 213.5 kilometers (132.7 miles). The USGS initially reported it as magnitude 7.7 and then revised it to 7.5.

    "It was really bad," said Masoud Popalzai, CNN's producer in Kabul. "In 30 years of my life, it was the worst I experienced myself."
    Everyone ran out into the streets. The walls of his compound shook so hard, they looked like they might fall over. 
    "In the bathroom everything swayed," he said. "Things fell to the ground in the office's kitchen."
    But he has seen no signs of damage in Kabul, even after driving a few miles around the city. 
    Some 60 miles southwest of Kabul, in the town of Ghazni, there were reports that the historic gate had collapsed, accompanied by photos on social media.

    1 comment:

    ChristineInCleveland said...

    Wow those birth pangs are coming alot closer & stronger these days...Can one not wonder what will fall next apon the United States or Iran any time now?