Pakistan Army dispatches aid, choppers to quake-hit Afghanistan

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From Senior Correspondent

Rawalpindi: Pakistan Army has taken urgent measures for earthquake affectees of North Waziristan in Afghanistan after calamity in neighbouring country killed more than 1,000 people and injured 1,500 others.

Military has set up a free medical camp for quake-hit people in Dubai, Paktika, while free-of-charge ration has also been arranged for families in need. Pakistan Army has also established a temporary gate for burial of those belonging to Madakhel tribe at Alwara Mandi.

Forces have also provided two helicopters to transport critically injured to hospitals, while a special entry system has been set up for quake affectees at Ghulan Kham Border.

Earlier, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza and all services chiefs expressed condolences on loss of lives to earthquake and torrential floods, with Army assuring all-out assistance for affectees. Quake of magnitude 6.1 killed more than 1,000 people in Afghanistan, with nearly 1,600 injured and toll is expected to grow as information trickles in from remote mountain villages.

According to an official, death toll could rise as rescue still continues in Gayan and Barmal districts of province. Wednesday’s quake was deadliest since 2002. It struck about 44km from southeastern city of Khost, near border with Pakistan, US Geological Survey (USGC) said.

Landlocked country’s eastern province of Paktika was most affected, with reports of significant damage from areas of Giyan, Nakai, Bermal and Zerak. In Khost province, area of Seprai bore brunt of early morning tremors.

Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said on Twitter.