Earthquake : According to the Meteorological Department, the epicentre of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake was 120Km southwest of Khuzdar in Balochistan province at a depth of 10 kilometres. The US Geological Survey measured the earthquake at 7.8. At least 45 people have been killed as a powerful earthquake struck southwest Pakistan on Tuesday.
Tremors which began at 16:29 (PST) were felt for two minutes in several cities of Sindh and Balochistan.
Emergency was declared by Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch in the Awaran district of the province which was the most affected by the earthquake. Officials said the tremors demolished dozens of mud houses and it was feared that the death toll would increase.
16 people were killed in Baididal and Parindar areas. 6 people lost their lives in Labash area, while 7 bodies were recovered from the Tarteij area. Another 16 people were killed in the Mangoli area of Awaran. A levies building also collapsed in the district.
DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted that Khuzdar would be the base for rescue efforts and night flying helicopters with medics were on their way. He added that 300 soldiers were busy in rescues efforts and the strength would grow to 1,000 by late morning.
Chief Meteorologist Muhammad Riaz said: “this was a major earthquake and heavy destruction is likely.”
Residents of cities where tremors were felt ran out of their offices and homes onto the roads. Apart from Awaran there have been no reports of major damage or loss of life in other cities.
Light tremors were also felt in Northern India, Iran, UAE and Oman.
In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border.