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Death toll crosses 600 in quake-hit Balochistan

Death toll crosses 600 in quake-hit Balochistan

bloQUETTA, (SANA): The death toll from Tuesday’s powerful earthquake in Balochistan has crossed 600 on Thursday. Only in Awaran area 531 people have been died in the earthquake. There is fear the death toll might reach at 1000. Six dead bodies were recovered from the rubble of the houses from different areas of Awaran.

Rescue workers pulled victims, some screaming in pain, from the heavy rubble of mud houses collapsed on residents throughout the remote areas of Balochistan.

Pakistani army airlifted hundreds of soldiers to help with the aftermath of the worst earthquake.

The earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck Balochistan on Tuesday, a huge earthquake-prone province of deserts and rugged mountains, and was felt across South Asia.

It destroyed houses and cut communications with the worst affected district of Awaran, and was so powerful it caused a small island to emerge from the Arabian Sea, just off the Pakistani coast.

Rescue teams found it hard to reach the remote location quickly, and some officials said the death toll was likely to rise as emergency workers fanned further into the mountains to assess the damage.

At least 356 people have been confirmed dead and 619 others wounded, according to Balochistan government Spokesperson Mohammad Jan Buledi.

Buledi told media that six more bodies of earthquake victims were retrieved from Awaran district of Balochistan on Thursday.

He added that communications systems in the sparsely populated province were badly affected as a result of the earthquake and that rescue workers were facing difficulties in reaching survivors in remote areas of the province.

“I fear there may be more bodies buried under the rubble,” Buledi further said.

However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said it would use its own available resources for the rescue and relief, despite offers for help by the United Nations agencies, international donors and some countries.

“We have enough resources to cope with the situation that has emerged after the earthquake in Awaran and Kech, although international donors and some friendly countries have also offered their cooperation,” NDMA Chairman Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem said.

He said the NDMA’s relief goods stock in Karachi had been transported to the two districts and was being distributed among the affected people through the army, Frontier Corps and local administration.

The army has rushed medical staff and troops to the devastated area to help with rescue efforts, along with seven tonnes of food and a tonne of medicine. Six helicopters are taking part in rescue work, the military said.

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