Over 200 dead as quake rattles Balochistan
Pakistani TV channels reported the eight-second quake struck at 4:29pm local time around 100 kilometres southwest of Khuzdar city at a depth of 15 kilometres, leaving 350 wounded.
According to Express News, monitored here, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.8 on the open-ended Rector scale.
On the Gwadar coastline, the quake created a small island about half a mile into the sea. The island is said to have a mountainous terrain rising up to a hundred feet.
Muhammad Riaz, a senior Pakistani meteorologist, told Dunya TV the major temblor had caused heavy destruction. Several houses and buildings are believed to have collapsed.
The Meteorological Department said the tremors were felt for two minutes in several cities of Sindh and Balochistan. Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch declared an emergency in Awaran district, the worst-hit town.
Most of the casualties occurred in Baididal, Parindar areas, Labash, Tarteij and Mangoli areas. Home Secretary Asad Gilani told Dawn.com the earthquake had claimed the lives of 208 people and injured 350 others. The long distance and disrupted road routes are hampering relief efforts.
Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority spokesman Mirza Kamran Zia feared the death toll could rise. He said most of the casualties occurred when houses collapsed.
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