45 killed as powerful earthquake hits Pakistan

KARACHI: A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit south-western Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 45 people, injuring over 100 others and damaging several houses.

The earthquake has generated a new island near Gwadar coast in Balochistan that struck at 4:29 pm Pakistan time 1129 GMT at a depth of 15 kilometres. The epicentre of the earthquake was 120 km southwest off Khuzdar in Balochistan. The US Geological Survey measured the earthquake intensity at 7.8 on Richter scale. Pakistan’s Meteorological office described it at 7.7.

Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana and other towns of Sindh were also jolted. The quake tremors were also felt in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, where some damages have occurred. The earthquake damaged several houses in Awaran district of Balochistan. Chief Minister Balochistan declared emergency in Awaran district where over 30 people were killed.

People in many areas of Karachi came out of their flats, offices and other buildings soon after they felt the jolts from the earthquake. They remained at safe areas including roads, parks and other open areas for some hours but later they returned backed to their destinations. The earthquake caused panic and fear across Pakistan. The quake tremors were also felt in India.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan has expressed concern over the loss of life and properties in Sindh and Balochistan due to earthquake. In a statement, he extended condolences to the victim families and prayed Almighty Allah to grant courage and fortitude to them to bear this irreparable loss.

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