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2005: Powerful quake hits South Asia
Pakistan says more than 1,000 people may have died in a powerful quake that also hit north India and Afghanistan.

The 7.6-magnitude quake with the epicentre 80km (50 miles) north-east of Islamabad wiped out several villages.

At least 500 died in North-West Frontier province in Pakistan. More than 450 lost their lives in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

In Islamabad, people rushed to dig with bare hands to rescue those trapped when an apartment building collapsed.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who was visiting the site, said the quake was a "test of the nation".

Several countries have offered to send emergency aid.

In a message to Mr Musharraf, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: "While parts of India have also suffered from this unexpected natural disaster, we are prepared to extend any assistance with rescue and relief which you may deem appropriate."

The earthquake, which was registered at 0350GMT, was felt as far away as the Afghan capital, Kabul, and India's capital, Delhi. Several aftershocks followed.

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Quake damage at Balakot - 90 kms (56 miles) from Islamabad, Pakistan
Several countries are sending aid to the stricken region

In Context
More than 73,000 people died and about three million were made homeless in what was the worst earthquake in the region's history.

As winter approached there were fears of a second cycle of deaths from cold and disease.

But, in March 2006 the UN reported that despite sub-zero temperatures in the mountains and some heavy snow storms, the season has been unusually mild and dry.

Aid agencies had also been able to ferry food and supplies to isolated communities across the stricken region, thus averting the threat of a more fatalities.

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