Quake toll in Indian Kashmir hits 750

The confirmed earthquake toll has reached 750 in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, with the number of the injured rising to 990, the federal Home Ministry said.

    About 50 army and border troops were among the dead

    More than 50 soldiers and Border Security Force troops were among the dead, the ministry announced on Monday.
      
    The majority of deaths were recorded in the Kashmir valley with just 17 fatalities reported from the Jammu sector further south.
      
    Senior officials have repeatedly warned that the death toll is likely to rise as the army, spearheading rescue operations, reaches the most isolated villagers in the Himalayan mountains.
      
    More than 300 people died in the worst hit area, Uri, close to the de facto border with Pakistan.
      
    A senior Jammu and Kashmir state government official said that 54 soldiers had died when a border post caved in and the same number had been injured, he said.
      
    The overall toll also includes 54 labourers hired to build roads for the Indian army, he said asking not to be named.
      
    "Most of them died when a truck carrying them was hit by boulders let loose by the earthquake," the official said.
     
    He said the bodies of some of the labourers were recovered from a ravine.
      
    According to initial estimates, more than 5000 homes collapsed in Indian Kashmir after Saturday morning's earthquake, which registered 7.6 on the Richter scale.
      
    Nearly 20,000 died in Pakistan, location of the earthquake's epicentre.

    SOURCE: AFP


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