At least 260 people are known to have died after Monday’s earthquake in South Asia which was felt across countries. Most of the deaths were in Pakistan but there have been fatalities in Afghanistan and India.
The epicentre of the magnitude 7.5 tremor was in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region known for its seismic activity. More victims are expected with rescuers yet to search mountainous areas.
Hundreds of houses have been destroyed and thousands of survivors spent the night outdoors in near freezing temperatures. Those who could were reluctant to seek shelter for fear of aftershocks.
A video shot by a Kabul university student showed the level of damage left behind by the quake…. walls cracked and the building’s roof had fallen in. Relief and rescue work in Afghanistan is likely to be complicated by security threats created by an escalating Taliban insurgency.
The tremor also caused several deaths and structural damage in northern India. Shock waves sent hundreds of people in New Delhi running out onto the streets.
A relief operation is underway with the United States and Iran being among several foreign countries offering to provide much needed humanitarian assistance.