Toll rises to 208 in Pakistan earthquake

Toll rises to 208 in Pakistan earthquake

Pakistani Earthquake Kills 208 people, Death Toll Expected To Rise. The toll in the powerful earthquake that rocked Pakistan's Balochistan province...

The toll in the powerful earthquake that rocked Pakistan's Balochistan province Tuesday has risen to 208, an official said Wednesday. Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesperson of the Balochistan government, said 145 people were killed in the worst-hit Awaran area, and 63 died in the neighbouring areas of Mashkai and Turbat, reports Xinhua.

Media reports said 395 people were also injured in the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Pakistan Tuesday afternoon and whose tremors were also felt in India.

The massive earthquake flattened hundreds of houses. The quake struck Awaran and its neighbouring districts at 4.29 p.m. Tuesday. The Pakistan Meteorological Department said that several aftershocks, including one of 5.9 magnitude, were recorded following the major quake and strong tremors were also felt in south Sindh and east Punjab provinces of the country.

Rasheed Gadozai, deputy commissioner of Awaran, said an estimated 100,000 people have been affected in Awaran. Awaran is one of the poorest districts in Balochistan, with a population of less than 120,000. There were conflicting reports about the toll, with the country's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) putting the deaths only around 50.

The actual situation in the quake-hit areas is not clear, as many of the villages affected by the earthquake are hard to access, said Rasheed Gadozai. The Balochistan government has declared emergency in the six quake-hit districts and has started rescue operation along with the army and other security forces.

The Pakistani Army Wednesday sent another group of 600 soldiers to the quake-hit areas, taking the total number of army personnel involved in the rescue operation to 900, said army sources. The army rescuers have set up a base camp in Khuzda, a district in central Balochistan, located 120 km northeast of the epicentre.

Officials in Awaran said that one of the serious problems facing the rescue operation is the lack of doctors and medical facilities. Some of the people injured in the earthquake have been shifted to Karachi, they added.

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