Early this Thursday morning, a dramatic earthquake brought mourning to Pakistan. At least 20 people were killed in a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the south of the country.
“We are receiving information that 20 people have been killed as a result of the earthquake. Relief operations are underway, ”confirmed Balochistan provincial government official Suhail Anwar Hashmi. Several of the victims died in the collapse of buildings, he said. Among those killed were a woman and six children. Another official, Naseer Nasar, head of the Baluchistan Provincial Disaster Management Authority, had earlier reported a death toll of between 15 and 20, while specifying that it could increase.
A region difficult to access
The earthquake, magnitude 5.7 and a depth of 20 km, occurred at 3 a.m. on Thursday (midnight in France), according to the American seismological institute USGS. The most affected area was the town of Harnai, in the mountains, a region difficult to access for relief due to the lack of paved roads, and where the electricity and telephone networks are also poorly developed. The earthquake was also felt in Quetta, the provincial capital some 100 kilometers from the epicenter.
The country, located at the meeting point of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, regularly records earthquakes. In October 2015, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake killed 400 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ten years earlier, on October 8, 2005, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake left more than 73,000 dead and 3.5 million homeless, mainly in the Pakistani-controlled area of Kashmir.