At least 20 dead, dozens injured after 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan
According to a BBC report, at least 150 additional people are believed to have been hurt, with some of them being transported to hospitals in severe condition.
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck southern Pakistan in the early hours of Thursday, killing over 20 people and injuring scores more. Many fatalities were killed when roofs and walls fell, and health personnel had to treat the wounded with torches after the power went out. According to a BBC report, at least 150 additional people are believed to have been hurt, with some of them being transported to hospitals in severe condition.
"We are learning that 20 individuals have died as a result of the earthquake. Response measures are underway," stated province interior minister Mir Zia ullah Langau. The chairman of Balochistan's Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Naseer Nasar, told AFP that between 15 and 20 people have perished but that the death toll may rise. The most hit location was the isolated mountainous city of Harnai in Balochistan, where a lack of paved roads, power, and cell phone service impeded rescue efforts.
The tremor knocked out power in the region, forcing health professionals to work in a dimly lit government hospital. "With the aid of torches and mobile lamps, we were functioning without electricity," according to Zahoor Tarin, a top administrator at the government-run Harnai hospital. Dozens of individuals were sent back after receiving first assistance, while 40 badly injured persons were sent to Quetta in ambulances. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake had a magnitude of 5.7 and occurred at 3 am at a depth of around 20 kilometres. The earthquake was also felt in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.
Pakistan is on the border between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, making it vulnerable to earthquakes. A 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan and Afghanistan in October 2015 killed over 400 people and hampered rescue operations. On October 8, 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the nation, killing about 73,000 people and displacing around 3.5 million people, primarily in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.