New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: At least 20 people have died while over 200 others were seriously injured after a massive earthquake hit southern Pakistan in the wee hours of Thursday. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) pegged the earthquake at a magnitude of 5.7, upgraded from an earlier magnitude of 5.4. The quake was at a depth of 10 km (6.21 miles), with its epicentre located 102 km east-northeast of Quetta, Pakistan.

Provincial interior minister Mir Zia Ullah Langau, as quoted by AFP said, "We are receiving information that 20 people have been killed due to the earthquake. Rescue efforts are under way." Another senior provincial government informed that a woman and six children are among the 20 people that have died in the massive earthquake.

The worst-affected area was the remote mountainous city of Harnai, in Balochistan, where a lack of paved roads, electricity and mobile phone coverage has hampered the rescue effort.

As per the provincial government official, as quoted by news agency AFP, many people died after the roofs and walls of their rooms collapsed on them while they were sleeping. The massive quake also led to electricity failure in the area due to which health staff have to work without lights in a poorly equipped government hospital

"We were operating without electricity with the help of torches and mobile flashlights," Zahoor Tarin, a senior official at the government-run Harnai hospital said as quoted by AFP.

"Most of the injured came with fractured limbs. Dozens of people were sent back after first aid while some 40 people who were critically injured have been sent to Quetta in ambulances," he added.

The earthquake was also felt in Balochistan's provincial capital Quetta. Pakistan straddles the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.

In October 2015, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people across rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts. The country was also hit by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005, that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless.


(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan