Pakistan: 115 people confirmed dead in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 29 (APP): National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has confirmed death of 115 people in moderate earthquake that hit many parts of Balochistan province in early hours of Wednesday. The earthquake measuring 6.5 on Richter Scale struck an area of approximately 70 kilometers in north and north-east of provincial capital Quetta at approximately 0510 hours on 29 October 2008, NDMA chairman Lt.Gen =AE Farooq Ahmed Khan told media here in the evening.

He said villages of Wachan Kaws and adjacent localities in district Ziarat were severely affected while district Pishin's village Toba Achakzai and adjacent localities suffered moderate loss. "So far we have reports of injuries of 296 people among which 60 have been hospitalized," he said, adding that 2,000 houses were demolished in the morning quake.

Farooq Ahmed said immediate response was mounted by local civil and military authorities. Medical teams of Headquarters 12 Corps had heli-lifted in early hours and were engaged in rescue and relief activities in Ziarat.

Meanwhile, a wing comprising 300 FC troops and another contingent of 100 FC men has also been moved to Ziarat and Pisihin, respectively, he added. President and Prime Minister were informed about the turmoil early morning and they directed expediting more relief activities.

"A field hospital is being airlifted by C-130 from Rawalpindi while one military field hospital is standby in Quetta for any emergency," the NDMA chairman said, adding," 2000 tents have been released from COD Quetta to civil and military authorities for immediate delivery in affected areas."

In addition 5,000 blankets, 5,000 jackets, 2,000 tents and 4,000 plastic mats are being despatch ed from Karachi and Islamabad by C-130 plane and road. He informed that overall 12 helicopters are taking part in the relief activities and additional C-130s are standby to meet any eventuality.