Death toll from Balochistan earthquake reaches 328

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 3:05:40 by

Death toll has risen to 328 in a major earthquake that struck Awaran District of Balochistan, Spokesperson of Balochistan government Jaan Balaidi said on Wednesday.

The powerful earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale had hit Awaran and some other parts of the province on Tuesday.

Officials say that nearly 95 percent houses in the area have been destroyed.

The army said rescue and relief operation continues in the earthquake affected areas of Balochistan by Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps troops.

An army statement said 174 wounded persons have been evacuated so far from different areas of Awaran to District hospital Awaran by Army and the Frontier Corps troops.

It said 7000 Kgs of food items, 1000 Kgs medicine and 200 tents have been distributed among the earthquake affectees. Cooked food is also being provided to homeless people in Awaran.

A field Medical facility comprising 21 Doctors and 50 Para-Medics are providing medical treatment to the injured in Khuzdar and Awaran.

Army spokesman, Maj Gen. Asim Bajwa, says that 300 troops of Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps personnel were moved last night for rescue operation in earthquake affected areas and 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, the army said.

Correspondents who reached the worst affected areas say there is shortage of food, doctors and medicines.

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.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who is in New York for the General Assembly session, has said that the federal government will provide every possible help to quake-hit people.

The Prime Minister said that the federal government stands by the people at this hour of trial, his office in Islamabad said.

He directed the federal ministers‚ National Disaster Management Authority and other departments concerned to keep him informed about the rescue and relief activities round the clock.

Spokesperson for Balochistan government, Jaan Balaidi, says death toll has risen to 250. He said that despite difficult terrain‚ rescue efforts are underway in the tremor hit area and medical teams are working in the area.

He said quake had drastically affected road and other means of communications creating difficulties for rescue teams to reach every tremor hit district.

The United Nations has expressed readiness to provide support for the relief efforts in the quake-hit Awaran region.

In a statement in Islamabad on Wednesday‚ UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan Timo Pakkala said the United Nations and its humanitarian partners are in close contact with the National Disaster Management Authority to provide support for the relief efforts and to mobilize the international community.

He said the world body is deeply saddened by this devastating event and is confident in the capacity of the Pakistani Government to offer assistance to the affected populations.


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