World / Asia-Pacific

Rescue operation in full swing as Paksitan-Afghanistan quake toll rises to 350

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-27 23:27

Rescue operation in full swing as Paksitan-Afghanistan quake toll rises to 350

An army soldier carries an injured boy from helicopter, after he was rescued with others from an earthquake stricken area of Chitral, at the aviation base in Peshawar, Pakistan October 27, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

ISLAMABAD/KABUL -- The Pakistani government, army and charity organizations continued rescue efforts on Tuesday after a powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake killed 350 people in the country and neighboring Afghanistan on Monday.

Local media reported the death toll in northwestern Pakistan has already crossed 270 with over 2,000 injured. However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) confirmed 230 deaths and 1,629 injuries.

Most of the rescue teams have been dispatched to the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, one of the worst-hit areas near the epicenter in the Hindu Kush Mountain along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, where 185 people were killed and 2,102 houses damaged.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the quake-affected area of KPK province on Tuesday.

Sharif promised that compensation would be announced after consultation with Chief Minister of KPK Pervez Khattak.

"No stone will be left unturned for relief and rehabilitation of people," he told the local residents following his meeting with key government officials.

Chief Minister Khattak said authorities were recording the losses in the province and they would be in a position to comment on the relief measures after a complete assessment.

The provincial government has dispatched 2,000 tents, 1,000 blankets and 2,000 floor mats to quake-hit areas, Information Minister of KPK Mushtaq Ghani said.

He also said the provincial government would provide a compensation money of 300,000 rupees (about 3,000 US dollars) to the families of the killed.

The NDMA said they have dispatched 2,000 tents to KPK province on Monday and more relief supplies will arrive on Tuesday.

An MI-17 helicopter will carry out rescue operation in the remote areas and a nine-bed mobile hospital with a team of surgeons has been dispatched to KPK province, said the NDMA.

Asim Bajwa, spokesperson of the Pakistani Army's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a tweet that a special C-130 cargo plane with 7 tons of ration, 2,500 ready meals, additional medical teams, 1,000 tents and blankets, was flying to KPK's Chitral area Tuesday.

Twenty tons of ration, 10,000 ready meals, 1,000 tents, 500 blankets have been dispatched by road for distribution in Dir District. An army relief camp and various ration distribution points have also been established, the spokesperson added.

The Karakoram Highway, which was blocked at 45 different places by the quake-triggered landslides, has been partially cleared so far.

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