355 killed, 619 injured in Pakistan earthquake

Pakistani earthquake survivors search through the debris of their collapsed houses in the devastated district of Awaran on Sept. 25, 2013.

Pakistani earthquake survivors search through the debris of their collapsed houses in the devastated district of Awaran on Sept. 25, 2013. PHOTO BY: Banaras Khan

Islamabad (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) – A total of 355 people have been killed and 619 others injured in the 7.7-maganitude earthquake that rocked southwest Pakistan`s Balochistan province on Tuesday afternoon, according to a press briefing released by Pakistan`s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday evening.

Awaran, a district in southern Balochistan, is the worst hit area where 311 people have been killed and 440 injured, said NDMA, adding that remaining deaths and injuries are all reported from the neighboring district of Kech.

A total of 20,000 houses have been destroyed in the quake- affected areas, said the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Balochistan earlier on Thursday morning, adding that 95 percent of the houses in Awaran have been destroyed or damaged.

Large amount of tents, blankets, mosquito nets, water, medicines and food items have been dispatched by the Balochistan and Punjab governments, the federal government and the army as well as the paramilitary forces to the quake-affected areas, said NDMA in its press briefing.

The affectees have also been made available 5 emergency health kits and 100 trauma kits, it said.

Apart from the inaccessibility of the quake-hit areas, rescue operation also faces other problems. Earlier on Thursday, Chairman of NDMA escaped a rocket attack at his helicopter while he was making an inspection tour in Mashkai, a small town in Awaran.

Balochistan is notorious for terror attacks, sectarian conflicts and kidnappings. On Wednesday, a convoy carrying rescuers was reportedly attacked on the way to the quake-hit areas.(*)

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