News / Asia

Death Toll Rises to 327 in Pakistan Quake

  • Pakistani officials say the massive earthquake that struck the remote district of Awaran in Baluchistan province was strong enough force to create a small island visible off the southern coast, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Villagers look for belongings amid the rubble of their destroyed homes following an earthquake in the remote district of Awaran, Baluchistan province, Pakistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Army troops leave Karachi, Pakistan heading for an earthquake-affected area in the Baluchistan province, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Survivors collect their belongings near the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following an earthquake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Earthquake survivors from the town of Awaran, in southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, receive first aid at the Civil Hospital in Karachi, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • The rubble of houses are seen after they collapsed following an earthquake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • A survivor of an earthquake sits as he takes tea on the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • People rush out of their offices after they felt a major earthquake that struck Baluchistan province in southwest Pakistan, Sept. 24, 2013. 
Strong earthquake hits remote area of Pakistan
Ayaz Gul
Authorities in Pakistan say earthquake relief efforts are being hampered by the remoteness of the mountainous quake zone.

Officials say at least 327 people were killed after thousands of mud homes collapsed in the mountainous Awaran district of Baluchistan province.  

Hundreds of other people have been injured and displaced.

Most of the damage has occurred in the country’s impoverished Baluchistan province, where the epicenter of the 7.7 magnitude quake was located.

The remoteness of the mountainous quake zone has prevented authorities from determining the extent of the devastation more than 24 hours after the calamity struck.

Muhammad Saeed Aleem, head of Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority, told reporters Wednesday that arrangements are being made to send food, tents and blankets to the affected areas.  He says satellite images are being gathered to assess the damage and he feared the human losses are likely to increase.

"It was a massive earthquake and apparently there are huge losses, but the government will be able to discuss it once satellite images of the area are gathered," said Aleem.

Rescue workers say that houses, mostly made of mud, in the worst-hit district of Awaran and surrounding areas have been flattened, causing most of the deaths.  The tremor also disrupted road links which is hampering relief activity.

United Nations officials say they are standing by to provide support if requested but so far Pakistan's government is leading the response.

Dan Teng’o, a spokesman of the U.N. office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan, says it is in contact with the provincial government and has received initial reports of the losses the quake has caused.

“It has indicated that 80 percent of the houses in Awaran district, which is the most affected district, 80 percent houses there have collapsed and it could be more because they have not been able to access some of the remote areas," said Teng’o.

Hundreds of Pakistani troops and paramilitary soldiers as well as military helicopters carrying emergency supplies have arrived in the region to help evacuate the thousands of people injured and made homeless.  

The resource-rich, sparsely populated Baluchistan region borders Iran and Afghanistan and has been in the grip of a low-level separatist insurgency for years. Ethnic Baluch insurgents frequently attack government officials and installations.
  • Pakistani officials say the massive earthquake that struck the remote district of Awaran in Baluchistan province was strong enough force to create a small island visible off the southern coast, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Villagers look for belongings amid the rubble of their destroyed homes following an earthquake in the remote district of Awaran, Baluchistan province, Pakistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Army troops leave Karachi, Pakistan heading for an earthquake-affected area in the Baluchistan province, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Survivors collect their belongings near the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following an earthquake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Earthquake survivors from the town of Awaran, in southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, receive first aid at the Civil Hospital in Karachi, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • The rubble of houses are seen after they collapsed following an earthquake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • A survivor of an earthquake sits as he takes tea on the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, Baluchistan, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • People rush out of their offices after they felt a major earthquake that struck Baluchistan province in southwest Pakistan, Sept. 24, 2013. 

You May Like

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs