On Monday a powerful earthquake of magnitude – 7.5 Richter struck northeastern Afghanistan. The earthquake occurred at 223 kilometers (139 miles) deep inside the Earth. Theoretically such quakes should cause less damage on the surface. The epicenter of the earthquake is near the Afghan city of Jarm, a sparsely populated area. People in the region live in mud brick buildings prone to collapsing. The mountainous terrain and poor infrastructure make assessing the damage difficult.
The quake had affected people in Pakistan, India and Tajikistan, killing many, collapsing structures and creating panic. In a northern Afghan town, 12 schoolgirls died in a stampede. The reports from Afghan, Pakistani and Indian officials report hundreds of people injured.
The death toll in Pakistan (154), Afghan (74) and one in Jammu and Kashmir totals to 229. Additional reports of fatalities and widespread damages are expected.
Afghan broadcaster Tolo TV showed images of collapsed structures.
Photos showed collapsed houses and buildings reduced to rubble.
According to Wais Ahmad Barmak, Afghan state minister for disaster management affairs, about 4,000 houses were either severely damaged or destroyed.
An orange alert had been issued by the USGS on the quake. Because of the number of casualties and widespread disaster call for a regional or national level response, the USGS said.