Atleast 46 were killed and dozens injured when a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, with officials saying casualties could increase near the epicentre in a remote area in Balochistan.
The province declared a rescue emergency. All officials were put on high alert, and doctors at hospitals were on standby. Other officials were quoted by news channels as saying that dozens were injured when mud-brick houses collapsed in Awaran and Khuzdar areas of Balochistan province.
The army dispatched 300 soldiers, rescue and medical teams and a helicopter to the worst-hit areas. Balochistan chief minister Abdul Malik too said an emergency had been declared in Awaran, seven to eight hours’ drive from Quetta, the provincial capital. The tremors lasted two minutes. People flocked out onto the streets of Quetta, the provincial capital.
With a depth of about nine miles (about 15 kilometers), the quake struck 43 miles (69 kilometers) northeast of Awaran and 71 miles (114 kilometers) northwest of Bela, the USGS said.