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Hundreds Killed in Massive South Asian Earthquake

  • VOA News

A massive earthquake has rocked South Asia, with hundreds of deaths reported in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

The seven-point-six-magnitude earthquake hit Saturday morning and was centered in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, less than 100 kilometers from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

The worst damage appears to be in Pakistan, where at least 500 people were killed and 17,00were injured in North West Frontier Province.

President Pervez Musharraf inspected damage in Islamabad, where a 10-story apartment building collapsed. He called the earthquake a test for his nation.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says rescue and relief efforts are under way, with helicopters and trucks carrying supplies to affected people. He says Pakistani forces began rescue operations just minutes after the earthquake.

Meanwhile, in Indian Kashmir, officials confirmed more than 150 deaths, including soldiers who were stationed along the truce line separating Indian and Pakistani forces in the divided territory.

Strong aftershocks shook the region throughout the day, and authorities warned that further building collapses are possible. Today's earthquake was one of the strongest ever to hit Kashmir. In 1935, a slightly weaker earthquake killed more than 30,000 people.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Rauters.

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