CHITRAL: The death toll from the devastating earthquake rose to 27 in Chitral as reports of casualties continued pouring in.
Besides, thousands of houses have collapsed or rendered dangerous for living after developing cracks. The main Chitral-Mastuj road was closed at different places but the Chitral-Peshawar road was open after removal of debrise from a few points by the NHA officials.
A clear picture would be emerging in a day or two because at the moment most of the areas in the far-off sub-valleys remain out of communication.
Senior journalist Kamal A. Jamil reported to ChitralToday from Drosh that five children were confirmed dead and brought to the THQ hospital of Drosh along with 30 injured persons from different areas.
The deceased children were identified as Hussain, a seven-year-old son of Hamidullah, a son of Mirza Ahmed, a resident of Jjinjiret Dap, a five-year-old daughter of Obaidullah of Sweer, Hussain, son of Wazir from Biori, and Bilal, 16, son of Zaman of Baradam Ashiret.
ChitralToday correspondent Waqar Ahmad reported from Brep in upper Chitral that two passengers were killed and six others injured when stones falling from a hill hit a jeep in the south of the Brep village after the earthquake.
The jeep (B-1017) was taking a wedding party, consisting of 16 people, from the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan to the Broghil valley of upper Chitral when it was hit by the falling boulders in front of the Khuz village.
As a result, Muhammad Hakim and Tatok Khan, both residents of Chimarabad in Broghil valley, were killed on the spot. Six other passengers, including the driver Rehmat hussain, were injured.
A woman, sister of Molai Shah was killed in Parwak and another woman, wife of Yousuf Ali Shah of Pardan in Yarkhun valley was also hit and killed by falling stones.
Munir Hussyn Fatemi reported from Zait in upper Chitral that an old woman, mother of Afzal Murad, and Mr Rabbani, 27, son of Ghulam Nabi, died after being hit by falling boulders. The woman was in her agricultural field when she was hit by the falling stone.
She was taken to a hospital in Reshun where she died. The young man was coming home from Gohkir when he came under the falling stones. In Chuinj near Mastuj, a 16-year-old daughter of Mir Wali died after the wall of their house collapsed on her. Two shops collapsed in the bazaar of Mastuj while elsewhere there was no major report of destruction in the area.
Bashir Hussain reported from Chitral town that about 10 people were confirmed dead in the earthquake in the Chitral town and nearby areas. A number of houses and other buildings were damaged. Scores of injured were brought to the DHQ hospital and most of them were given first aid and sent home.
There was panic in the town and information regarding the damages was sketchy as communication networks were not working. Four people were killed when falling boulders hit them in the Mroi village. One woman was killed and three others injured when debris falling from the mountain hit a passenger jeep at Mashelik near Koghuzi.
Fardad Ali Shah Sanik reported from Garam Chashma that two young girls, daughters of Amir Mat, a resident of Begisht village, also died after being hit by stones rolling down from the mountains. Two students were injured in a similar incident while returning home from school. Some shops in the main bazaar of Garam Chashma were damaged when boulders fell down on them.
Houses in different villages were fully and partially damaged. Cattle-sheds were also damaged. A vehicle was also hit by boulders but no casualties reported.
SN Peerzada reported from Booni that around 40 people, including women, were injured and taken to the THQ hospital in Booni. Though the hospital administration has declared an emergency, the injured were without any medical aid.
Houses in Sumaragh in Booni completely destroyed, residents escape unhurt. Most of the houses in other parts of Booni are either damaged, have developed cracks and are become dangerous for living.
The road towards Chitral and Mastuj are closed in Booni and the number of injured might increase. There are fears that a large number of people have stranded at different places on Chitral-Mastuj road due to blockade of the road. Parts of Commerce College Chitral building was also damaged. Roads in most parts of Chitral blocked due to landsliding.
The Met Office in Islamabad reported that the intensity of the quake was 8.1 on the Richter scale while the US meteorological department put it at 7.7 with its epicentre about 193 km deep in the Hindukush range in the northeast of Afghanistan about 66 km west of the Chitral town.
The earthquake occurred at 2:09pm. Earlier, our correspondent Abbas Hussain reported from Drosh that according to initial estimate about 30 per cent of houses in Drosh have collapsed. He said there were also reports about landslides at Ashiret that also hit some passenger vehicles.
A resident of Dizg told ChitralToday that there was no damages to houses in the area. He said some houses developed cracks. There was also landsliding but that did not cause any damage.