Strong earthquake hits Pakistan province of Baluchistan

QUETTA, Pakistan – Rescuers struggled on Wednesday to help thousands of people injured and left homeless after their houses collapsed in Tuesday’s massive earthquake in southwestern Pakistan. The death toll rose overnight to 210.

Strong earthquake hits Pakistan province of Baluchistan

The earth moved with enough force to create a small island visible off the southern coast, said Pakistani officials.

Strong earthquake hits Pakistan province of Baluchistan

Strong earthquake hits Pakistan province of Baluchistan

The magnitude 7.7 quake struck in the remote district of Awaran in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province on Tuesday afternoon. Such a quake is considered major, capable of widespread and heavy damage.

The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, the Indian capital, about 1,200km away, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported there.

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Additional home secretary Zahid bin Maqsood, a provincial official in Baluchistan, put the death toll at 210 and said 375 people had been injured, while a spokesman for the provincial government, Jan Mohammad Bulaidi, put the death toll at 238. Conflicting figures were likely due to the difficulty in contacting local officials and people in the remote region.

“We need more tents, more medicine and more food,” said Mr Bulaidi. He described a horrific scene of people who lost limbs in the quake and who will need to be sent to hospitals in cities of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, and Karachi along the Arabian Sea.

The quake flattened wide swaths of Awaran, the district where it was centred. Most of the victims were killed when their houses collapsed.

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