13:26 25 September 2013
On Tuesday afternoon, Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan, was struck by a powerful earthquake leaving at least 250 people dead. The US Geological Survey said the 7.7-magnitude quake stuck at a depth of 20km northeast of Awaran.
Following the quake’s massive force, a small island, which is reported to be about 200m long, appeared off the coast near the port of Gwadar.
In April, the region was also struck by another 7.8-magnitude quake that killed at least 35 people.
Balochistan government spokesman Jan Buledi said that at least 340 people were injured and warned that the death toll could rise. He added: "We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals.”
He also confirmed that injured residents, who were mostly from Awaran town and the surrounding villages, are now being cared for in neighbouring districts. Meanwhile, those who were seriously injured were airlifted to Karachi.
Pakistan army responded to the crisis sending more than 200 soldiers, medical teams, and tents from the regional capital Quetta. However, the rescue operation is hampered by mountainous terrain.
Meanwhile, Awaran local government official Abdul Rashhed Baluch, said that about 90% of houses in the district were destroyed. "Almost all the mud houses have collapsed. We have been busy in rescue efforts for the whole night and fear we will recover more dead bodies from under the rubble during daylight.”
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