At least 30 people were killed in an earthquake measuring 7.8 which struck southwest Pakistan. Tremors were felt across the region and as far as New Delhi.
The US Geological Survey has measured the quake at 7.8 magnitude. The quake struck in Balochistan, just 69 km north-northeast of Awaran, the nearest city. A “RED” alert has been issued by the agency. This means estimated fatalities of over 1,000 and damages costing over $1 billion.
Five dead bodies were recovered from the debris of a house in the Awaran district, southwest of Balochistan near the Iranian border, CNBC Pakistan said.
Local officials also told the channel that the death toll has reached 30.
Roofs of two schools have collapsed in Awaran, according to Pakistan’s English-language daily The Express Tribune. The daily says houses have been damaged across the province while the injured are in the process of being escorted to nearby hospitals. This is yet to be officially confirmed.
The earthquake hit a remote area of the country at a depth of just 15km (9.3mi), but was felt as far away as neighboring India. Pakistan's Geo TV says the earthquake which stroke at 4:29 pm local time lasted for about two minutes.
Pakistani Met office officials say that major damage and loss of life has been averted because of the earthquake’s location in such a remote area. However, they have also forecast impending aftershocks of up to 5 in magnitude on the Richter scale.
A powerful earthquake hit a remote, impoverished part of western Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 30 people and destroying scores of mud houses in a thinly populated area, officials and residents said.
Tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of miles to the east, where buildings shook, as well as the sprawling port city of Karachi in Pakistan.
The United States Geological Survey said a 7.8 magnitude quake had struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's earthquake-prone province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran.
Abdul Qadoos, deputy speaker of the Baluchistan assembly, told Reuters 30 people had been killed and at least 30 percent of houses in the impoverished Awaran district had caved in.
In the Baluch regional capital of Quetta, officials said some areas appeared to be badly damaged but it was hard to assess the impact quickly because the locations were so remote.
Baluch chief secretary Babar Yaqoob said earlier that 25 people had been injured and that the death toll was expected to increase.
A rescue operation had begun in the desert and mountain region which has no major industrial installations.
"We are trying to assess the damage," said Baluch Home Secretary Asad Gilani.
Local television reported that helicopters carrying relief supplies had been dispatched to the affected area. The army said it had deployed 200 troops to help deal with the disaster.
(Additional reporting by Mehreen Zahra-Malik in Islamabad and David Chance in New Delhi; Writing by Maria Golovnina in Islamabad; Editing by Alistair Lyon)
Major mag. 7.8 earthquake - 69km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan
Ver mapa maior
Date & time: Tue, 24 Sep 11:29:49 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 16:29:49
Depth: 22.9 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 27.0262°N / 65.5208°E [Map]
Nearest volcano: Tor Zawar (429 km)
Primary data source: USGS