Saturday, 28 September 2013

Another quake jolts shattered Balochistan district, kills 15

At least 15 people were killed Saturday when a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Balochistan in a region already devastated by a massive quake earlier this week, officials said.

The most recent deaths bring the total toll from the two quakes to 374. Spokesman for the Balochistan government Jan Mohammad Buledi said several people were also injured in the powerful quake.

According to the US Geological Survery, the epicentre of the quake was recorded at 96 kilometres northeast of Balochistan's Awaran district and 14 kilometres deep.

The local meteorological office recorded the intensity of the earthquake at 7.2 on the Richter scale and said the epicentre of the quake was 150 kilometres southwest of Khuzdar.

Eight people were killed Saturday in Nok Jo, a small village in Awaran with a population of around 15,000. Four deaths were reported from Mashkay area, said Rasheed Baloch, deputy commissioner in Awaran district.

He said more than sixty mud-walled houses collapsed when the earthquake struck the village. He said said four bodies from the quake earlier in the week were also retrieved from the rubble.

Baloch said a rescue operation was underway in the district and its surrounding areas to retrieve the bodies and shift the injured to hospitals. “Poor communication system is a major hindrance in the way of relief operation,” he said.

Strong tremors were felt in different parts of the province.

People panicked and came out of their homes in Quetta, the provincial capital. “I was sitting in my office when the earthquake struck,” said Nazeer Ahmed, a provincial government official in Quetta.

The Balochistan Assembly session was underway when the earthquake struck. Television footage showed ministers and members of the assembly walking out of the session due to the tremors as the session was temporarily suspended.

Aftershocks were felt in Kech, Khuzdar, Kalat and other towns of the province. The tremors were also felt as far away as Naushero Feroz, Shikarpur, Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh province.

Meanwhile, the death toll from a 7.7-magnitude earthquake which jolted the same area earlier on Tuesday rose to 359 on Friday with over 600 people injured. The September 24 quake had struck Balochistan’s Awaran and Kech districts and relief work was continuing in the area.

Patients undergoing treatment at the Awaran district hospital also came out of hospital wards after the tremors. “More than one hundred injured are now outside Awaran hospital,” Muhammad Tariq, a local journalist said.

Saturday 28 September 2013


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