Earthquake victim in hospital bed
B.K. Bangash  /  AP
Quake victim Shakeela Nasreen, who suffered multiple fractures when the roof of her house collapsed, lies in a hospital bed on Saturday.
updated 2/15/2004 5:51:47 PM ET 2004-02-15T22:51:47

Authorities were sending tents, blankets and food to a remote northern area of Pakistan on Sunday, a day after two strong earthquakes triggered landslides and toppled walls that killed at least 21 people and injured 32 others, officials said. About 400 homes were damaged.

At least one person was reported missing. Rescue crews were trying to reach the area in the rugged Hindu Kush mountain range, which is covered by a thick blanket of snow. Officials feared the death toll may rise as temperatures plunged overnight.

The temblors, measuring 5.7 and 5.5 on the open-ended Richter scale, were about 90 minutes apart Saturday with the first striking at 3:30 p.m. They were centered 125 miles northeast of Peshawar and were felt 90 miles away in the capital, Islamabad.

Authorities have sent doctors and police teams to remote villages to provide relief and assess damage, said Syed Ahmed Hussain, the mayor of Mansehra district.

"We have information that people have been buried by debris in some areas," he said. "People in some areas are sitting outdoors in snow. They fear going back to their homes."

Thirteen people were killed when the pickup truck they were riding in was struck by a boulder set loose by the second tremor, causing the vehicle to plunge into a river in the Batgram district, said Adam Khan, a local police official.

Landslides had blocked the main road in Batgram, hindering rescue efforts. In the village of Shamlai, a falling wall struck and killed a 10-year-old boy, Khan said.

In Jabori, a village in the neighboring district of Mansehra, a man died when his roof collapsed, said Hayyat Khan, a local police official. The minaret of a mosque was destroyed.

Two other deaths were reported in Mansehra -- a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy whose homes collapsed. A 4-year-old boy was reported missing in the same area. He was feared trapped under the debris of his home, Khan said.

Hospitals were treating others with injuries, officials said.

About 70 homes in Anghrai and another 40 homes in Paras villages were reported to have been seriously damaged, but the extent was not immediately known. The rest of the damaged homes were in surrounding areas. Most homes in the region are built of mud, stones and timber.

Officials said the full extent of the damage may not be known until Sunday as rescue teams report from far flung areas.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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