Deadly earthquake strikes northeastern Afghanistan

Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, October 26, 2015

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Mercy Corps teams are on the ground in a region of South Asia, rocked by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake on October 26. Just days after the disaster, the death toll has risen to at least 364 people, with about 2,000 injured.

The epicenter was 28 miles southwest of Jarm, Afghanistan and the earthquake’s effects were felt as far as Pakistan, Kashmir, India and southern Tajikistan.

Mercy Corps stands ready to assist in ongoing assessment, relief and recovery efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The governments of these two countries have indicated that additional assistance is not needed at this time, but we are ready to support their efforts as needed in the days ahead.

All of our team members are currently safe. They quickly started coordinating with field teams and local partners to gather information about the earthquake’s damage and the potential needs of survivors in the region.

Officials in both Afghanistan and Pakistan are still working to determine the full extent of damage from the earthquake. While the epicenter of the earthquake was in Afghanistan, the effects were more deadly across the border in Pakistan, where the region is more heavily populated.

It may take some time to gather information from some of the region's more rural areas. "Many villages in normal circumstances are one or two hours from proper roads," Arif Noor, Mercy Corps' country director in Pakistan told CNN. "As you can imagine, reaching those people and helping them out is going to be a major challenge."

Mercy Corps has worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the 1980s and in the past has been one of the primary responders to emergencies, including earthquakes, in both countries.

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