Save the Children is extremely concerned for the safety of children after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province in the early hours of this morning, killing 20 people, including at least six children, and injuring more than 300.
The earthquake jolted eight towns in the province, with aftershocks still being felt in some areas and the death toll expected to rise.
Several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition and more than 150 others sent to hospital for treatment, with the number of fatalities expected to rise as relief efforts continue, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said.
A medical emergency has been declared at the Civil Hospital Quetta – one of the worst affected cities– where doctors and medical staff have been recalled on emergency basis, and an emergency has been declared in all other hospitals in the province.
Relief and rescue efforts are underway in Harnai, the worst affected city where most of the casualties have been reported. Rescue teams are racing to rescue people buried under rubble after several buildings collapsed. More than 70 houses are reported to have been damaged in Harnai alone, and the power supply to the area has been suspended. Rescue teams have been dispatched to help evacuate families.
There are also reports of damage in Ziarat, Qila Saifullah and Sibi.
Save the Children is monitoring the situation and is ready to respond with food aid, non-food items and healthcare to affected families should the need arise.
Khuram Gondal, Country Director of Save the Children in Pakistan, said:
“We are devastated to learn that at least six children have been killed by this morning’s earthquake, and fear for the safety of many more who have been injured or forced to evacuate their homes.
“Rescue teams report horrific devastation—dozens of collapsed houses, numerous injured people and bodies buried under the rubble. Many children and families have had to evacuate, which is likely to be very distressing for children. While it will take days to assess the full scale of the damage, it is clear that the earthquake has resulted in a major emergency in the affected areas. We will continue to monitor the situation and are ready to respond if needed.”
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