|People evacuate from buildings after a severe earthquake, in Karachi, south Pakistan, Sept. 24, 2013. Moderate damages were reported after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan on Tuesday afternoon, according to local officials and media reports. (Xinhua/Masroor)
Click here for more photos
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 328 people were killed and 500 others injured since Tuesday afternoon when a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province, official sources said here on Wednesday.
In a press briefing, officials from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that the earthquake tremors seriously affecting Awaran and Kech Districts of Balochistan due to which a total of 285 deaths and 373 injuries were recorded in Awaran and 43 fatalities and 72 injuries were reported from Kech.
Later in a Telephonic interview with Xinhua on Wednesday night, Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesperson of Balochistan government, confirmed that the number of injured people has risen to 500 from 445, earlier reported by NDMA, as 55 more wounded people were recovered from the affected areas.
"All the people from the urban areas has been pulled out of the rubbles by the rescue teams, however, death toll may further rise as there are many affected people in the far flung areas of the province where rescue teams couldn't even reach yet due to disruption in road traffic due to earthquake," the spokesperson said.
Talking to Xinhua, Brigadier Pervez Khan, director general of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Center said that rescue and relief activities in the area are being carried out. However, over 1000 people are feared dead in the calamity as many remote quake-hit areas of Awaran are yet to be accessed by the rescue teams.
Awaran, located about 645 km away from Balochistan's capital Quetta, is house to 300,000 people and is among one of the country 's least-developed districts where health, medical and other facilities are not easily available.
Rasheed Gadozai, deputy commissioner of Awaran, told local media that an estimated 280,00 people have been affected in Awaran, while losses in some of the district's far-flung areas are yet to be determined as rescue teams couldn't reach there yet.
He said about 40 to 50 percent houses in urban area and 90 percent houses in rural areas leveled to ground.
The Balochistan government has declared emergency in the six quake-hit districts.
Provincial government kicked off rescue operation in the area and announced to allocate a budget of about 1.6 million U.S. dollars for immediate rescue and relief of the affected people. The government dispatched two trucks carrying food for the affected people.
District Commissioner Awaran sought help from army and government for the affected people as the district administration does not have adequate facilities to provide relief to the affected people.
The NDMA said that Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and the civil administration are carrying out rescue efforts in the affected region. Urban Search and Rescue Teams with search dogs and technical equipment have also been dispatched to the affected areas.
The teams involved in rescue and relief operations also include doctors and paramedic staff. A field hospital is being established at Awaran and additional teams comprising doctors and paramedics have also been sent out. A number of military and civil hospitals along with ambulances are engaged in rescue and relief efforts.
NDMA has placed 5,000 tents and provided 7,000 food packs (53 Kg each) to the affected areas.
Pakistan army sent 1600 troops to the worst hit areas of Khuzdar and Awaran, and shifted 174 people to hospital after recovering them from the debris of the collapsed houses.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of Pakistan army, said that they dispatched a team of 1000 troops to the quake-site on Tuesday night, while 600 more were sent to the area on Wednesday.
The military has provided 200 tents and 7000 kg of food to the affected people, meanwhile a team of 21 military doctors and 50 medics arrived in the area to provide medical treatment to the injured people.
Six army helicopters are taking part in the rescue work to airlift the seriously wounded people to hospitals in the country's southern port city of Karachi, said the ISPR.
Pakistan Navy also set up a medical camp in Gwadar area and dispatched a ship carrying blanket, tents, medicine, food and water. The Navy spokesperson said that they have sent 300 troops on aircrafts to the quake-hit areas.
Provincial disaster management authority of Balochistan sent 19 trucks carrying food, water, blankets, tents and other necessities of life to the affected people.
The earthquake measuring 7.7 magnitude on Richter scale hit Balochistan and parts of the country's east and south provinces of Punjab and Sindh. The quake was determined to be at 29.09 degrees north latitude and 65.61 degrees east longitude.
Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that several aftershocks including one of 5.9 magnitude were recorded following the major quake that struck the country at 4:29 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
After the earthquake, an island emerged at a distance of 5 km from the Gwadar coast which is 300 to 400 meters in size around 10 meters in height, said the NDMA.
Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain expressed their sorrow over the natural disaster and directed the concerned departments to provide relief to the affected people in a quicker possible way.
They also directed hospital administration to provide best possible medical facilities to the injured people.
International community including China, Turkey and Iran expressed grief over the calamity and offered to provide help to the quake-hit people.
Strong quake hits Pakistan, Army kicks off rescue operation
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan army started rescue operation in the country's southwest Balochistan province that was hit by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday afternoon, the military said.
The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of Pakistan army, said that they had dispatched a rescue team constituting of 200 soldiers to the worst-hit area of Awaran for helping local rescue teams of district administration to pull stranded people from the debris of the houses collapsed in the earthquake. "Helicopters carrying medical staff, medicine, tents and food have left for the quake-hit area for providing relief to the people", said the report.Full Story
Damages reported following major quake in SW Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Moderate damages were reported after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan on Tuesday afternoon, according to local officials and media reports.
Local Urdu TV channel Geo said that two people were killed and eight others injured in Awaran, a small town most close to the epicenter of the earthquake.Full Story
7.7-magnitude earthquake hits SW Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- An earthquake of 7.7 magnitude hit Pakistan's southwest Balochistan Province on Tuesday afternoon, said Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
According to PMD, the earthquake took place at 16:29:49 ( Pakistan Standard Time) with the epicenter determined to be 120 km southwest of Khuzdar in central part of Balochistan.Full Story