Islamabad: At least 93 people were killed and over 200 others injured as an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude jolted Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan Tuesday afternoon, officials and media reports said.
Media quoting a spokesperson of the Frontier Constabulary (FC), a paramilitary force, reported that Awaran district of the province was most affected by the earthquake where 80 people were killed, over 200 injured and hundreds of houses levelled to ground, according to Xinhua.
He said that several people were still trapped under debris of the collapsed houses and rescue teams along with army troops were carrying out the rescue operation.
According to another report, at least eight people were killed in the Dandan area of Kech district while five causalities were reported from Pasini, Turbat, Hub and Gwadar districts.
There are contradictions in the number of causalties as the deputy speaker of the provincial assembly of Balochistan Abdul Qadoos Bazinjo said that over 150 people had been killed in the province, but other officials did not confirm it.
The injured people were being shifted to district hospital Awaran where several of them were in a critical condition. FC spokesperson said the troops had shifted 70 bodies and dozens of injured to the hospital in Awaran.
Following the request from the district administration, Pakistan army sent 300 troops including rescue personnel and doctors along with medicines, tents, foods and helicopters to the area.
The Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), mouthpiece of Pakistan army, said they had setup a rescue base camp in the Khuzdar district of the province and had dispatched 300 troops to the affected areas and 700 more soldiers would join them Wednesday morning.
According to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, after the major earthquake that occurred at about 4:49 p.m., five aftershocks hit the country including the one of 5.9 magnitude.
Bazinjo said that emergency had been declared in five districts of the province including Awaran where majority of the houses were razed to ground.
He said that several army check posts and two buildings of paramilitary troops Levis were also levelled to ground which injured several troops.
The earthquake’s epicentre located in Awaran district, some 645 km away from the Balochistan’s capital Quetta.
Major Tremors and aftershocks that lasted for 20 to 40 minutes also jolted northern India. The earthquake created panic among the residents, however, no loss of life or property was reported.