At least 20 people lost their lives and over 300 others sustained injuries when an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck parts of Balochistan early on Thursday morning.
In its initial reports, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) stated that tremors were felt in Quetta, Sibbi, Pishin, Muslim Bagh, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Sanjavi, Zhob, and Chaman
The National Seismic Monitoring Centre confirmed that the earthquake was centered near the province’s Harnai district and had a depth of 15 kilometers.
The Deputy Commissioner of Harnai District, Sohail Anwar Hashmi, confirmed the death toll. He said six children were also among the deceased. Meanwhile, the injured, which include women and children, have been shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Harnai.
Rescue operation underway
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani said that assistance and evacuation efforts were underway. “All departments are working on it,” he tweeted.
Rescue and relief operation is underway after the devastating earthquake in Balochistan, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Security forces also reached the district for rescue and relief efforts, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Army doctors and paramedics were assisting the civil administration with necessary medical care, the statement said. Food and medicines were also transported to the remote mountainous district Harnai. It was the worst-affected area where a lack of paved roads, electricity, and mobile phone coverage hampered rescue efforts.
Additionally, nine critically injured patients were airlifted to Quetta in a Pakistan Army helicopter. The ISPR statement said the inspector general of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan has reached the district for damage assessment and response. In addition, an urban search and rescue team was being flown in from Rawalpindi to assist in rescue work.
Politicians call for assistance and relief
Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered authorities to provide immediate assistance to Harnai and the quake victims and conduct an assessment so relief and compensation could be dispensed. “My condolences and prayers go to the families who lost their loved ones,” he tweeted.
President Arif Alvi shared his condolences over the loss of lives in the earthquake. He hoped the authorities would swiftly assist in relief operations.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said he was also saddened over the loss of lives.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also offered condolence to the families of those killed in the quake. Moreover, he called upon the federal and provincial governments to save the lives of those injured and pay compensation to the families of the deceased.
Meanwhile, aftershocks are still being felt in different areas after the earthquake.
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