QUETTA: A strong earthquake in different parts of Balochistan has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 300 others 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.