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South Asia Earthquake

South Asia Earthquake

A man carries a boy who was injured in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, 26 October 2015. A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit northern Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountain range causing damage in Pakistan and India as well. Tremors were felt in northern India including the capital New Delhi, causing thousands of people to evacuate buildings. Authorities also closed the underground train system. Credit: EPA/ARSHAD ARBAB

The situation

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit Afghanistan’s north-eastern province of Badakhshan and also affected some areas of Pakistan early on Monday, 26th of October. 

According to US Geological service, the depth of the earth quake was 196 km. The epicenter of the earth quake was 82 kilometers southeast of Faizabad, in the district of Jurm in the Hindukush mountain range. 

Tremors were felt throughout most of Afghanistan but mainly in Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Balkh, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjsher, Kabul, Laghman, Kunar, Nangarhar and Nuristan.

How many people have been affected? 

Reports indicate over 200 people have been killed, around 375 people have been injured and 9,509 houses have been damaged.

Insecurity, road blockages and low quality of mobile network have caused to hinder efforts to obtain more information on the impact of earthquake but reports about more casualties are to be expected.

At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building, the BBC has reported. In Pakistan, the military said 123 people were known to have died in the north of the country, mostly in the Malakand region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The area is extremely mountainous so there is a risk of landslides and avalanches. 

What is Oxfam doing? 

We have teams working with local authorities and organizations assessing the scale of the damage and what is needed and our teams are ready to respond where needed. The extent of damage and casualties is still unclear as information is only slowly coming in from rural areas, hindered by lack of communications.

We expect a much clearer picture to emerge in the dys following the earthquake.  We expect people to be fearful of aftershocks and likely to be sleeping in the open. They will need protection from the elements, food, clean water and hygiene essentials such as soap. With winter almost upon us people will need blankets and shelters to keep them warm in sub-zero temperatures.

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