Pakistan: Death toll mounts to over 300 in quake hit Ziarat valley

QUETTA, Oct 30 (APP): The death toll of Wednesday's severe earthquake has crossed 300 and about 1000 are injured in the worst affected quake district, Ziarat, 120 kilometers off from the provincial capital, District Nazim Ziarat, Dilawar Khan Kakar and the District Health Officer Ziarat told APP by phone.

Villagers in the badly affected areas fear about estimation of death figures saying causalities might be over 400 while the official sources were citing tentative figures, but the District Nazim and the DHO had yet confirmed officially the death toll as over 300. Thousands of people were struck by the Wednesday calamity tragedy as 40,000 people were left homeless. 200 houses were completely destroyed in 30 villages in Ziarat, the district administration sources told this news agency.

They said "casualty figures are difficult to predict exactly, but the exact figure of the victims will be produced once the full rescue operation is completed in the devastated villages of Ziarat." The aftershocks of the earthquake further added to miseries of the survivors which rattled their minds and caused more losses in the quake stricken villages of Ziarat, the sources said, adding that survivors passed tough and difficult times last night on open grounds in the chilly weather.

They said that landslides in some parts of the quake hit and mountainous areas caused roads blocked which further complicated the relief operation. Meanwhile, Balochistan government, Army, Frontier Corps, police, various political parties=C6 workers, NGOs and volunteers are carrying out rescue and relief operation in Ziarat valley.