Pakistan: Balochistan Earthquake - Operation Update Report n° 2, DREF n° MDRPK021


Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This update is issued to inform of the no-cost extension of the operation timeframe for a further one-month. The operation was earlier granted an extension until 31 March 2022 due to delays in procuring relief items to replenish PRCS stocks. PRCS’ diligent laboratory testing of the replenishment items to ensure the best price-quality bid will be chosen for contract award required more time than foreseen, leading to a further one month no-cost timeframe extension until 30 April 2022.


Description of the disaster

An earthquake struck Pakistan's province of Balochistan near the city of Harnai on Thursday, 7 October 2021 with a magnitude of 5.9, striking early in the morning around 03:02 local time when people were asleep in their homes.
According to the PDMA-Balochistan, severe damages were reported in the Harnai District and minor damages in the cities of Sibi and Quetta. Landslides had blocked roads leading to the affected region, disrupting rescue and recovery efforts. As most of the homes in the affected region are constructed by mud and stones, there was a sustained risk of complete demolition in case of further aftershocks. The consecutive aftershocks had sustained the traumatic situation in affected areas; the risks of damaged houses suddenly collapsing forced the population to opt to reside outside in the open air at night. According to the district authorities, most fatalities resulted from roof and wall collapsing. Additional secondary data reported human and livestock loss, injuries, houses severely damaged, and damage to communication channels, roads and bridges. Moreover, the earthquake killed at least 21 people and injured more than 300. Most of the damage appeared to have affected the Harnai district where around 500 mud houses collapsed, and a large number of buildings were damaged, leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Harnai is a remote district located some 168 km from Quetta, Balochistan's provincial capital. The earthquake badly affected the Union Councils (UCs) Saddar 1, Saddar 2 of District Harnai. Due to the remoteness of the area, authorities faced hurdles in the initial response as some roads were blocked due to the landslides.