Earthquake strikes Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing and injuring multiple people

Rescue workers unload earthquake victims from an ambulance at a hospital in Saidu Sharif, a town Pakistan’s Swat valley, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled much of Pakistan and Afghanistan late Tuesday, sending panicked residents fleeing from homes and offices and frightening people even in remote villages.

An earthquake struck areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan late Tuesday, killing multiple people and wreaking havoc in both countries.

The 6.5 magnitude earthquake killed at least 13 people and injured many others. Experts predict the death toll could rise as aftershocks impact the area, The Associated Press reported.

How did the earthquake impact Pakistan?

According to disaster management authorities in northwestern Pakistan, nine people died in the area and 47 were injured after the impact. “Many were hurt when the roofs of their homes collapsed on them,” per AP.

More than 200 people were escorted to hospitals to receive care for injuries in the quake in Pakistan, NBC News reported.


“These terrified people collapsed, and some of them collapsed because of the shock of the earthquake,” Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s emergency services, told NBC News.

How did the earthquake impact Afghanistan?

In Afghanistan, four people were reported dead from the earthquake and at least 70 people were injured, per AP.

Because some of the areas affected by the quake are extremely remote, many don’t have cellphone service, so some people might be in need of help but are unable to report it, according to CNN.

The remoteness is also likely to slow down rescue and relief efforts. Many people in “affected regions braved near-freezing temperatures to sleep outside after the quake — fearing aftershocks,” BBC reported.

Huge cracks appeared in residential buildings in Islamabad, with damage to other buildings and phone lines reported as well, per BBC.


“One wall of the restaurant fell in, we ran to save our lives. People were screaming,” Noor Wali, a driver who felt the quakes while eating in a restaurant, told CNN. “I was close to the mountain, felt like the whole mountain would slide into us, people were calling out for Allah.”

What caused the earthquake to have such far-reaching impacts?

The U.S. Geological Survey placed the epicenter 25 miles south-southeast of Jurm, Afghanistan, where it borders Pakistan and Tajikistan. It gravitated “116 miles deep below the Earth’s surface, causing it to be felt over a wide area,” per NBC News.

The earthquake is reminiscent of the quakes in February that hit Turkey and Syria hard, killing more than 50,000 people.