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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid