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Earthquake in POK :Death toll may rise

NEW DELHI : A powerful 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck northeast Pakistan on Tuesday, badly damaging scores of homes and shops and killing at least 22 people and injuring over 700, officials said.

The quake badly damaged a key road leading to the town of Mirpur in the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and adjoining villages, where most of the damage was located.

Mushtaf Minhas, information minister in Pakistan-held Kashmir, said 22 people, including women and children, were killed in the quake, mostly due to collapsing roofs and walls.

“We are supplying tents, food and other essential items to earthquake-affected people. We are facing a tragedy but we will try our best to make sure the rehabilitation of affected people as soon as possible,” he told The Associated Press.

Mahboob Ahmed, a doctor at a village hospital near Mirpur, said they treated 700 people and most of them were later discharged or referred to the district’s main hospital, where better health facilities were available.

TV footage showed damaged homes, shops and vehicles in Mirpur, where a breach at a main canal was submerging villages. Tremors were felt across Delhi, the national capital region, Punjab and Haryana and no immediate casualties or damages were reported.

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