Pakistan 7.8-magnitude earthquake gives birth to new island off Arabian Sea, kills 46 (Image credit: YouTube/Euronews)
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Pakistan on Tuesday has given birth to a new island off the Arabian sea. On land, the major tremor has killed at least 46 people and destroyed scores of infrastructure.
The quake struck 233 kilometres southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's quake-prone province of Baluchistan, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Baluchistan borders Iran. The earthquake struck at 4:29 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m.). It had a recorded depth of 15 kilometres.
Baluchistan province, although the country's largest, is the least populated. Still, a red alert was raised by the USGS, prompting authorities to brace for heavy casualties based on past data.
The tremor demolished dozens of houses in Awaran district, 350 km southwest of the provincial capital Quetta, prompting the local provincial government to declare an emergency in the said district.
"We have heard some reports of damage as well as casualties, although we would expect the numbers to go higher based on the size and location of the earthquake," John Bellini, a geophysicist with the USGS' National Earthquake Information Centre, said.
"A large number of houses have collapsed in the area and we fear the death toll may rise," Rafiq Lassi, police chief for Awaran district, was quoted by the AFP.
Around 200 soldiers have been mobilized as well as paramilitary troops to help with the rescue operations and relief efforts.
"There are not many doctors in the area but we are trying to provide maximum facilities in the affected areas," Jan Muhammad Baledi, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government, said on the ARY news channel.