The death toll from Monday’s powerful earthquake rose to 70 with more than 302 sustaining injuries across Afghanistan, information received from various provinces show.
The 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck major cities including Kabul, Jalalabad, Faidabad, Taloqan, Asadabad and others at about 1:39 pm.
The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake's intensity at 7.7 then revised it down to 7.5. Aftershocks continue to hit the affected areas.
The historic quake lasted for more than a minute, sending people into rushing to the open from homes and offices and women and children were seen crying.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kawosi told Pajhwok Afghan News that 50 injured people had been delivered to hospitals in Kabul and said more casualties were expected to come.
He also provided information about casualties in provinces, but his figures disputed those provided to Pajhwok Afghan News by local officials.
Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told Pajhwok Afghan News they had received reports about deaths and injuries, but exact figures were yet to be known.
But Nangarhar public health director Dr. Najibullh Kamawal said eight dead bodies and 72 injured people had been brought to the civil hospital.
He said there might be casualties in districts, but they had no exact figures, saying the condition of some injured persons was critical. The public health director said hundreds of homes had been destroyed by the quake, inflicting financial losses on residents.
Twenty-two people were killed and another 64 injured in eastern Kunar province, said provincial Disaster Management Authority head Ghulam Ali Sabat. He said hundreds of homes were damaged and destroyed by the disaster.
The quake damaged 120 homes in Takhar where a dozen schoolgirls were killed after a stampede broke out in their school in Taloqan, the provincial capital.
Sunnatullah Taimur, the governor’s spokesman, said the quake damaged homes in Taloqan, Farkhar, Namk Ab, Rustaq and several other districts of Takhar.
He said more than 50 people had been injured in the incident.
Takhar public health director Dr. Hafizullah Sapi said injured people had been brought to the provincial capital from various districts. He said so far they had received 12 dead bodies and 46 injured persons.
Five people were killed and eight others wounded in eastern Nuristan province, said the governor, Hafiz Abdul Qayyum. He said the quake jolted most parts of the province and shook houses including the governor’s house. He said the dead and injured people included women and children.
In Laghman, children and women were among four people killed and nine others wounded.
The governor’s spokesman, Sarhadi Zwak, said the massive earthquake damaged a large number of buildings and caused heavy casualties.
In northeastern Badakhshan province, 10 dead bodies and 25 injured people were retrieved from under the rubble of hundreds of homes destroyed in the earthquake, according to the governor, Shah Wali Adeeb.
He said initial information showed 1500 houses had damaged mostly in Juram, Warduj and Yamgan districts.
Parwan natural disaster management authority head Aminullah Haider said some houses had been damaged in the quake in Khwaja Sayaran and Hufian Sharif localities in Bagram district, but there were no reports about casualties.
But other officials said a woman was killed and seven person were wounded in the province.
In Samangan, Char Qul, who lives in Taikhonak area near the provincial capital, Aibak, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that a number of homes had collapsed, but there were no casualties.
A surgeon at the provincial civil hospital told Pajhwok Afghan News they had received five injured persons who fell while running and sustained minor injuries.
Eight people were injured due to collapse of buildings in northern Baghlan province. At least 15 homes were damaged in the provincial capital, Pul-i-Khumri. A resident of the city’s Bamba village, Mohammad Akram said the houses were damaged in their area. He said his two children were wounded and another five people were taken to the civil after sustaining injuries.
Dr. Shah Mohammad Hufiani, Baghlan public health director, confirmed receiving three children with head injuries at the civil hospital.
The 7.5 magnitude earthquake also struck major cities of Pakistan, including the northern areas on Monday, leaving at least 132 dead and scores injured due to building collapses, landslides and stampedes.
The death toll could climb in the coming days because communications are down in much of the remote mountainous region.
Forty minutes after the first earthquake, an aftershock of 4.8 magnitude was reported in the same area. Aftershocks are expected to continue in the affected areas.
The quake was 196km deep and centred 82km southeast of Faizabad, the capital of northeastern Badakhshan province in the Hindu Kush mountain range. According to USGS, the epicentre is 67km from Chitral.