Home Uncategorized 22 die, 300 hurt in Harnai quake

22 die, 300 hurt in Harnai quake

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QUETTA: Pakistan Army teams shifting relief goods and medicines for the affected of the Harnai earthquake, here Thursday. - NNI photo

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck parts of Balochistan early on Thursday morning, killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 300.
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), most of the deaths and injuries were reported from the remote north-eastern district of Harnai. Rescue workers added most of those killed were women and children.
More than 100 mud houses collapsed and many buildings were damaged. Television footage showed buildings with gaping cracks, caved in roofs and crumbled walls.
The National Seismic Monitoring Centre in Islamabad reported that the epicentre of the earthquake was near Harnai at a depth of around 15 kilometres.
The devastating quake affected various areas of the province including Quetta, Sibi, Chaman, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Zhob, Loralai, Pishin and Muslim Bagh.
The PDMA added that rescue teams including the Frontier Corps (FC) and the Pakistan Army were taking part in the rescue operation and had been dispatched from Quetta, Pishin and Ziarat to Harnai. A shortage of ambulances and medicines was also reported
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal assured that all assistance will be provided to the stricken district of Harnai, adding that medical, local administration and disaster management teams had been mobilised.
The minister also wrote that people were being evacuated with major support from the army’s XII corps and FC.
About 250 homes collapsed and many people were killed by falling roofs and crumbling walls in the district’s Babu Mohallah neighbourhood, said Nawab Khan, a local journalist.
“The entire town is a picture of devastation, as no house looks safe, thousands of people are rendered homeless and are under open sky,” Khan said, adding that almost 70% of power supply to the district had been disrupted.
Rescuers sifted rubble for survivors, with some of the injured being treated on stretchers in the street by torchlight from mobile telephones.
“The earthquake struck at about 3am,” said a resident, Muzaffar Khan Tareen, adding that some of the seriously injured were in hospital awaiting ambulances to take them to Quetta.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal assured that all assistance will be provided to the stricken district of Harnai, adding that medical, local administration and disaster management teams had been mobilised.
The minister also said that people were being evacuated with major support from the army’s XII corps and FC.
The Prime Minister’s Office received a preliminary report on the damage caused by the quake and was being updated on the situation.
The premier directed all relevant federal agencies to assist the government of Balochistan in providing relief.
“The federal government will provide all possible assistance in this difficult time,” PM Imran said.
He further stated that the best medical care should be provided to the injured.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) also stated that troops had reached Harnai for rescue and relief efforts, with necessary food and shelter items being dispatched for the affected people of the district.
The military’s media wing added that army doctors and paramedics, along with necessary medicines and equipment, are also assisting the civil administration.
At least nine critically injured were evacuated to Quetta through Army Aviation helicopters.
It further said that the IG FC Balochistan (North) has also reached Harnai for damage assessment and response, with urban search and rescue teams dispatched from Rawalpindi to further aid rescue efforts.
PDMA DG Naseer Nasar said Harnai teams were facing difficulty in carrying out rescue operation as Harnai is a mountainous area.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Interior Minister Ziaullah Langau said that five to six districts were severely affected and data was being collected.
Condoling with the families of those who lost their lives in the incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan took said that he has ordered immediate assistance on an emergency basis for the victims, as well as an immediate assessment of the damage for timely relief and compensation.
President Dr Arif Alvi offered his condolences to families of those killed in the earthquake and prayed for the injured.
“I am sure that provincial and National Disaster Management Authorities will provide quick relief,” he said.
The Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi also expressed regret over the loss of human lives in the Harnai earthquake.
The premier offered his condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families.
“In this hour of need, we stand with the victims”, PM Sardar said.
“May Allah elevate the ranks of those who were martyred in the earthquake and grant patience to their families,” he stated, also praying for a speedy recovery of the injured.