Quake kills 160 in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Oct 29 (UNI) At least 160 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake that struck parts of the oil and gas rich southwestern Balochistan province, officials said today.

The 6.4 magnitude quake brought havoc in more than eight small cities of the province where the government has declared an emergency.

Pishin, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Chaman, Loralai, Sibbi, Mastung were among the badly hit areas. Several houses and buildings have been collapsed.

According to geological survey of Pakistan, the epicentre of the quake was in Chiltan mountains. Ziarat is the worst hit area where ten people were killed after land sliding whereas four people lost their lives in Khanozai.

Death toll in different parts of Balochistan has reached to 160.

Ten bodies had recovered from the rubbles and shifted to hospital in Ziarat, a local government official said.

The Army has despatched contingents of paramilitary Frontier Corps for rescue operations along with medical team. Two army helicopters have also been sent in Wachun and Kowas villages for rescue operations, while two military transport C-130 planes have been put on standby.

Deputy director of geological survey of Pakistan Asif Rana said more aftershocks are expected in these areas within next 48 hours.

This is the second earthquake in Pakistan since 2005 when a 7.6-magnitude earthqauke in parts of northwestern Frontier Province and Kashmir killed 73,000 people and rendered more than 3.5 million homeless.

Seimological experts say the shallow nature of the quake caused devastation in Balochistan as it was just 10 km deep.

UNI XC GL SB RK1355

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