Pakistan: 20 dead after magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes Balochistan
By Muhammet Nazim Tasci and Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA): At least 20 people were killed and more than 300 injured when a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province early on Thursday.
The National Seismic Monitoring Center (NSMC) said the earthquake was centered near Harnai district and had a depth of 15 kilometers (9.32 miles).
The NSMC reported that the quake occurred at around 3.20 a.m. local time (Wednesday 2220GMT) and was also felt in the cities of Quetta, Sibbi, Pishin, and Chaman.
According to local media reports, 20 people, six of them children, were killed and more than 300 injured.
Many homes were damaged, while landslides also occurred in some areas.
“Still, many people are under the debris as dozens of houses collapsed in the area,” the deputy commissioner of Balochistan province told Anadolu Agency.
Security forces, troops, and rescue workers have reached the earthquake-hit areas to conduct rescue and relief efforts, added Suhail Anwar Hashmi.
Meanwhile, the army has also deployed teams of doctors and paramedics to assist the civil administration for necessary medical care.
In a statement, the media wing of the military said that nine critically injured people had been airlifted to the provincial capital Quetta via army helicopters.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations, necessary food and shelter items were being provided to the people in earthquake affected areas.
“Army doctors and paramedics along with necessary medicines are assisting civil administration for necessary medical care,” said ISPR.
Authorities have reached Harnai for damage assessment and response, while a search and rescue team is being flown in from the city of Rawalpindi to help reinforce local teams, it added.
Balochistan Chief Minister, Jam Kamal Khan tweeted: “All assistance and evacuations are underway for the #harnaiearthquake. Medical, local administration and disaster management teams are on high alert and mobilized.”
Tremors were felt in Quetta, Sibbi, Pishin, Muslim Bagh, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Sanjavi, Zhob and Chaman, according to Provincial Disaster Management Authority.
Additional report from The Muslim News
[Map of Pakistan from the CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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