A house damaged in the earthquake in Roundu area of Skardu. — Dawn
A house damaged in the earthquake in Roundu area of Skardu. — Dawn

GILGIT: The administration on Thursday declared an emergency and began rescue and relief activities in Roundu area after an earthquake hit Skardu district of Gilgit-Baltistan region.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the intensity of earthquake was 5.3 on the Richter Scale with 4.5-magnitude aftershocks.

Skardu deputy commissioner Karimdad Chughtai told Dawn that 18 villages in Roundu subdivision were affected by the Monday night earthquake, which destroyed more than 200 houses and damaged hundreds, and left eight people, including three children, injured.

He said the landslides triggered by strong tremors damaged 21 link roads and blocked six roads, while two power houses were damaged disrupting electric supply to 18 villages.

The DC said the disruption of telephone and mobile services were also reported.

He said the administration had imposed an emergency in the calamity-hit areas before launching round-the-clock relief and rescue operations.

He said 1,000 tents along with relief goods, including food items, had been dispatched to the region besides the establishment of medical camps and control rooms.

Mr Chughtai said rehabilitation of roads, powerhouses and water supply was under way.

“We’re carrying out damage assessment,” he said.

Also in the day, GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan visited the area and met the residents.

Accompanied by tourism minister Raja Nasir Ali Khan, he was briefed by the administration’s officials about damage to public property and life, and relief activities.

The CM directed all government departments to provide all possible relief the people on emergency basis.

He also sought a report on damage assessment and compensation provision.

Meanwhile, the earthquake victims complained that the rescue and relief activities were scanty and urged the government and NGOs to provide them with relief goods without delay.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2021

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