Six districts of Balochistan ravaged by quake: death toll reaches 265

QUETTA: The spokesman of Balochistan government Jan Muhammed Buledi Wednesday said six districts have been affected by the earthquake; the worst hit is Awaran, where relief and rescue operation is in full swing.

Addressing a press conference here flanked with Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), he said the strong earthquake ravaged districts including Katch, Khuzdar, Panjgur, Gwadar and Awaran, where hundreds of houses and buildings collapsed, disrupting the communication system.

Buledi asserted the relief activities are difficult to carry out owing to the tortuous pathways. However, the administration supported with Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and Levies, is busy with the operation.

Recovering the people trapped under the debris of collapsed buildings is the top priority, he added.

The death toll in the quake has mounted to 265, and the officials said the tremors demolished hundreds of mud houses and it was feared that the death toll would increase.

Jan Muhammaed Buledi confirmed the death of 30 people in Kech district whereas in Tehsil Mashkay alone 55 persons died.

The provincial government has declared emergency. District Administration and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority are also doing its utmost to provide relief to the suffering people in the area.

“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals. We are trying to shift seriously injured people to Karachi through helicopters and others to the neighbouring districts,” Buledi said.

The scale of the territory involved is daunting. Awaran district has an estimated population of around 300,000, scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles).

Tremors were also felt in Quetta, Hub, Khuzdar, Qalat, Sibi, Mastung, Jafferabad, Gawadar, Turbat, Panjgor, Kharan, Jhal Magsi, Noshki and the adjoining areas. However, except Turbat, no loss of life reported in these areas.

According to an ISPR presses release, rescue and relief operations continued in the earthquake affected areas of Balochistan by Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps troops.

So far 174 wounded persons have been evacuated from different areas of Awaran to District hospital by Army/Frontier Corps troops. 7,000 kilograms of food items, 1,000 kilograms medicine and 200 tents have been distributed among the earthquake affectees. Cooked food is also being provided to homeless people in Awaran.

Field Medical facility comprising 21 army Doctors and 50 paramedics are providing medical treatment to those injured in Khuzdar and Awaran.
300 troops of Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps personnel were moved Tuesday night for rescue operations in earthquake affected areas and the strength has now risen to more than 1000.

Six Pakistan Army helicopters are also participating in rescue operations. So far 10 sorties have been flown to affected areas of Awaran and Khuzdar.
Pakistan Navy has also dispatched a contingent along with relief goods to the quake hit Awaran district.

A spokesperson of Pakistan Navy said a medical camp has also been established in Gwadar for the quake victims.

Meanwhile‚ Sindh government has dispatched 2 trucks carrying medicines while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab governments have offered all kind of assistance for quake-hit people of Balochistan.

On the directive of Prime Minister federal ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch and Mir Jam Kamal visited quake-hit areas of Balochistan on Wednesday.They assured every possible assistance to the affectees on behalf of the Federal government.