Quake Kills at Least Eight in Pakistan

A moderate earthquake jolted northern Pakistan on Sunday, killing eight people and injuring 48, many of them critically, state-run media reported.

The magnitude-4.5 quake hit near Gilgit, about 125 miles north of Islamabad, said Chaudhry Mehmood Arif, an official in the Seismic Center in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Arif said the tremor was an aftershock from quakes Saturday that shook the town of Skardu, 75 miles southeast of Gilgit.

According to The Associated Press of Pakistan, the tremors also damaged a portion of the northern highway that runs the length of Pakistan to China.

The dead were found in two villages which appeared to have been most seriously affected. Several homes were destroyed there, and the bodies of eight people were found buried beneath the rubble. At least 48 others were hurt, with many of them in serious condition, said authorities in the area.

The Pakistan military was taking many of the injured out by helicopter because landslides had blocked the only road leading to the quake site.

Several tremors have rumbled through northern Pakistan over the past 24 hours, shaking the foundations of fragile mud homes that cling to mountainsides.

It was difficult to assess the full extent of the damage because the region is so remote.

Emergency personnel have been sent to the sparsely populated area to try to provide temporary shelter for those whose homes have been destroyed, the government-run news agency said.