At least 20 people were killed and 300 others injured as areas of Balochistan were jolted by a strong earthquake early Thursday morning.
Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting Kalimas and verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway in the affected areas with emergency declared in all hospitals.
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), most of the deceased are children.
The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan. The magnitude of the quake was measured at 5.9 on the Richter Scale.
The death toll is feared to rise. According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.
Medical emergency has been declared at the Civil Hospital Quetta where doctors and other paramedical staff have been recalled on emergency basis, the MS of the hospital said.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition, he informed.
The deputy commissioner said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged while many people have been left buried under the rubble. He said some government structures also were destructed. The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.
According to the deputy commissioner, levies and rescue teams have been dispatched to help and evacuate the affected people.
According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.
The bodies of ten people, including six children, and over 150 wounded people have been shifted to the hospital, according the MS Harnai Hospital.
Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Lango has confirmed that 15 people have lost lives in the quake.
According to Balochistan Home Minister, the PDMA has sent heavy machinery and rescue teams to the affected areas from Quetta.
He said that there were reports of damage in Ziarat, Qila Saifullah and Sibi while most of the casualties were reported in Harnai.
According to Ziaullah Lango, most people are still stuck under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Lango said there are reports of damage coming Ziarat, Qila Saifullah and Sibi also. “We will not leave people without help. We will make up for the it losses,” he said.
Emergency was also enforced in Quetta hospitals as the injured are being shifted to hospitals in Quetta, he said.
The condition of 15 of the injured is critical, DGPDMA said
DG PDMA Balochistan Naseer Ahmed Nasir said said the seriously injured people have been sent to Quetta. He said it would take him time to reach Harnai as landslides occurred in some areas.