Earthquake hits tourist area of the Ziarat district in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD – An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale, rumbled through southwestern Pakistan today, October 29, in the tourist area of the Ziarat district. So far, 200 have been reported dead, and it is anticipated that number will rise as bodies are unearthed from underneath the debris. Many have been injured, and survivors are receiving medical treatment.

In the northern area of Balochistan province, 2,000 mud-walled houses in 8 villages have been reduced to rubble. In all, 15,000 are homeless.

According to Farooq Ahmed Kahn, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, the worst-hit locations were Ziarat and Pishin. Rescue efforts are underway, and through the government, two C-30 planes have delivered tents, blankets, medicine, clothing, and other needed goods to the affected areas, with more relief on the way. The Pakistan army has sent 300 parliamentary forces to Ziarat and 100 to Pishin.

Aftershocks are still being felt, and meteorological departments have warned they could continue for a week. One of the largest aftershocks clocked in at 6.2 – almost as strong as the quake itself.