Islamabad : At least 371 people were killed and over 750 others injured after two earthquakes hit Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province within a period of three days, officials said.
Talking to Xinhua, Saif-ur-Rehman, spokesperson of Provincial Disaster Management Authority said that a total of 359 people were killed and 750 others injured in the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that hit the province Thursday, while the second earthquake measuring 7.2 at the Richter scale, which struck the area Saturday afternoon, killed 12 people.
He said that the earthquakes played havoc in Awaran district as it was the epicentre of both earthquakes.
He said that Thursday’s quake affected six districts with Awaran being the worst hit, where 312 people were killed and 525 others injured when thousands of houses collapsed in various towns and villages of the district.
The spokesman said that Kech area of the province was also badly affected, where 46 people died and 240 injured in various villages.
Saturday’s earthquake hit Nokjo area of Awaran, killing 12 people, and injuring dozens with many houses collapsing.
The spokesperson said that the condition of the injured and affected people is not yet known, as it happened in a far flung area where it would take several hours for the rescue teams to reach.
Overall, both the quakes affected a population of 185,000 and 37,000 families, said the spokesperson.
In a press briefing Saturday afternoon in Islamabad, officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that rescue and relief operation is taking place in the affected area.
The NDMA has so far dispatched 11,600 shelters, 10,000 blankets, 10,000 food hampers and 5,000 mosquito nets to the affected areas.
Additional sorties of C-130s carrying food packs were also airdropped in quake-affected areas of district Awaran. Additional shelters, food packs and medicines are being dispatched.
Through a collective effort, 34,750 shelters, 15,300 bed nets, 22,250 food hampers and 13,525 blankets have so far been dispatched to the earthquake affected areas.
The NDMA said that the Pakistan army has provided 200 tents, 1,212 food packs, 300 mosquito nets and 3,900 water bottles to the affected people.
Inter Services Public Relations, the mouthpiece of Pakistan army, said that the army has sent 1,600 troops, including medics and doctors, to the worst-hit areas of Khuzdar and Awaran.
The NDMA said that the Chinese government has extended relief assistance to Pakistan to express solidarity and to mitigate human sufferings in Balochistan.
The Chinese government has sent three flights carrying relief assistance, including medicines, emergency medical equipment, water purifiers, blankets, and tents weighing 260 tons.
The NDMA said that the Chinese government would also be handing over cash grant worth $1.5 million to Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division Sep 30 for the quake victims.