KHUZDAR: The death toll from a massive earthquake that jolted southwest Pakistan rose to 356 on Thursday, with officials saying that thousands have been left homeless and about 300,000 people had been affected in remote parts of Balochistan province.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon in the province, toppling thousands of mud-built homes as it spread havoc through Awaran and Kech districts and the southwestern parts of the country.

At least 356 people have been confirmed dead and 619 others wounded, according to Balochistan government spokesperson Mohammad Jan Buledi.

Buledi told Dawn.com that six more bodies of earthquake victims were retrieved from Awaran district of Balochistan on Thursday.

He added that communications systems in the sparsely populated province were badly affected as a result of the earthquake and that rescue workers were facing difficulties in reaching survivors in remote areas of the province.

"I fear there may be more bodies buried under the rubble," Buledi further said.

However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said it would use its own available resources for the rescue and relief, despite offers for help by the United Nations agencies, international donors and some countries.

“We have enough resources to cope with the situation that has emerged after the earthquake in Awaran and Kech, although international donors and some friendly countries have also offered their cooperation,” NDMA Chairman Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem said.

He said the NDMA’s relief goods stock in Karachi had been transported to the two districts and was being distributed among the affected people through the army, Frontier Corps and local administration.

Pakistan’s military on Wednesday rushed to reach the scene of the earthquake to launch a relief operation in the affected areas.

Survivors rest near their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Survivors rest near their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP

“A total of six districts, Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar, and a population of over 300,000 have been affected by the earthquake,” Buledi earlier told a press conference.

The provincial spokesman said aid workers were facing difficulties in reaching out to survivors since the communication system was severely affected by the earthquake. He said teams were working to recover bodies, but the priority was to move the injured to hospitals as soon as possible, a difficult task in a desolate area with minimal infrastructure.

“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals,” he said. “We are trying to shift seriously injured people to Karachi through helicopters and others to the neighbouring districts.”

Survivors clear the debris of destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Survivors clear the debris of destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP

“There is nothing, patients are dying,” Rehmatullah Muhammad Hassani, an earthquake survivor told Dawn.com via phone from the District Headquarter Hospital in Awaran.

He said the patients were facing difficulties in getting basic first aid treatment in the hospital. “There are no doctors and paramedics,” Hassani said.

Hassani said that a large number of mud-walled houses had collapsed as result of the powerful earthquake tremors. “We fear there are people still trapped under the rubble,” he said. The Awaran resident added that authorities had yet to launch an effective rescue operation to retrieve the people stuck from under the rubble.

Nazar Muhammad, a paramedic, said 70 injured had been brought to district hospital Awaran for medical treatment. He said: “We have no surgery equipment and we are only providing basic first aid to the survivors.”

The army has sent 100 personnel as medical staff and 1,000 troops to the area to help with rescue efforts and has established a medical centre in Tarteej, one of the worst-affected villages.

The scale of the affected territory is daunting. Awaran's population is scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres. More than 60,000 people live within 50 kilometres of the epicentre, according to the UN disaster agency, mostly in easily collapsible mud homes.

Television footage showed collapsed houses, caved-in roofs and people sitting in the open air outside their homes, the rubble of mud and bricks scattered around them.

Abdul Rasheed Baloch, a senior official in the district, said teams had worked through the night to try to retrieve bodies and survivors from the rubble. “Around 90 per cent of houses in the district have been destroyed. Almost all the mud houses have collapsed,” he said.

Some of the dead have already been laid to rest in their villages, he said.

Survivors collect their belongings in the rubble of their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Survivors collect their belongings in the rubble of their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. — Photo by AFP

The US Geological Survey issued a red alert on Tuesday, warning that heavy casualties were likely based on past data, and the provincial government declared an emergency in Awaran.

Tremors were felt on Tuesday as far away as New Delhi and Dubai in the Gulf, while people in the Indian city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out into the streets in panic.

Office workers in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi rushed out of their buildings in an experience reminiscent of the 2005 earthquake to that hit the country.

A 7.6 magnitude quake in 2005, centred in Kashmir, had killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan.

Iran’s Red Crescent reported no damage from the latest quake over the border from Pakistan.

A villager rests under a tree near rubble of destroyed homes following an earthquake in the remote district of Awaran, September 25, 2013. — Photo by AP
A villager rests under a tree near rubble of destroyed homes following an earthquake in the remote district of Awaran, September 25, 2013. — Photo by AP


Readers from the affected areas who wish to share their experiences through texts, photos and/or videos, can get in touch with us on talktous@dawn.com.


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Comments (66) (Closed)


Ishrat salim
Sep 25, 2013 01:03pm

And yet the CM of Baluchistan is enjoying Faiz evening in London.....he should be ashamed of himself claiming to be people's representative while his people are dying in maybe in a worst earth quack in a decade..

Sumant Mishra
Sep 25, 2013 01:16pm

Sad to hear about loss of lives. No one has control on such events, only way is to make better infrastructure,i guess now is the chance for people in that region.

Mish India

mir Altaf
Sep 25, 2013 02:01pm

2 much Laggardness +Destruction (Allah help them)

Muhammad Saleem Abdul Rahman
Sep 25, 2013 02:27pm

BARQ GIRTI HAI TO BECHAARE GHAREEB MUSSALMANON PARR. Why should the hierarchy worry , when they and their loved ones are safely tucked away in some cosy cottage somewhere . Once again the nation comes to know that how ill-equipped the public authorities are to tackle natural disasters . Death toll is bound to rise until something is done fast to rescue the victims. The country is too busy in its own fights to come to the aid of Awaran quake victims.

syed wasim haider
Sep 25, 2013 02:26pm

@Ishrat salim: He was there before the eathquake; if u knew that earthquake is to happen u should have inform him earlier. Yes,it is true the parliamentarians who were elected from the affected regions are reluctant to go there as they are having good time in karache, Quetta and Islamabad.

Ahmed
Sep 25, 2013 03:00pm

In time of need this government should actively take part in providing medical treatment and rebuilding of houses to win some confidence of the local people as we know that only 500 votes were dropped in the ballet box to elect the current MPA.

madhu
Sep 25, 2013 03:08pm

you kill the minorities and this and more punishment will come to you... you have been warned many many times. The wrath of god is upon you

ayla
Sep 25, 2013 03:32pm

and as again, it's this class that suffers.

Anjum
Sep 25, 2013 03:49pm

Where is pm Nawaz Shareef did I miss at least any statement form him?

In time of need our PROUD Army is helping us!!!

May Allah(SWT) save us from these corrupt politicians!

Noshal Hussain
Sep 25, 2013 04:03pm

Is it too difficult for government to move teams of doctor to affected area on emergency basis?....for God sake move quickly and prove we are one nation... Federal government should play it's part but something is expected from provincial governments as well. Every being which could play a part should play it's part. Doctor's teams can be moved from punjab and sindh, CMs please do it, do it please as quickly as possible...

mohammad shafique
Sep 25, 2013 05:02pm

@Anjum: And pray tell, who is to save us from our corrupt army ?

Bharat
Sep 25, 2013 05:34pm

We all should help these poor people and victims. I am very sorry to saw this pictures. Poor people in country are suffering and pakistan government should try their best to help them.

pradeep
Sep 25, 2013 05:50pm

@mohammad shafique: What it has to do with Army. For any thing and everything don't take the army's name in the middle. Such events is out of control of human beings and is simply natural calamity. What about Tsunami in 2004.

charan
Sep 25, 2013 06:07pm

@madhu: i am so proud of your writings

amoin1963@hotmail.com
Sep 25, 2013 06:13pm

Pakistani people are very brave and are always ready to combat the natural catastrophes and calamities. And I hope that by the grace of Almighty Allah, we will raise and stand by them to help them come out of this disaster! Amen

El Cid
Sep 25, 2013 06:31pm

@madhu: "you kill the minorities and this and more punishment will come to you... you have been warned many many times. The wrath of god is upon you."

Superstitious Christian rubbish. So the Church thing happened in the North East and god hit at the innocent poor people in the South West. Is he cockeyed? Even the robotic Drones shoot better and have killed more Muslims then your god could.

Must be the same god who had his son nailed to the cross to save you. Could he not just save you? And why only one son, even rats and pigs can have more. Did he suddenly become impotent?

An insane demented impotent vengeful cruel god you Christians have. Read your Bible for yourself and know about his racist bigotry too. Reading the Bible cures you of Christianity forever. Shame on you people who are killing Muslims around the world, destroying their cities and countries and looting their resources and treasures.

Have a nice day.

Lolz.

amoin1963@hotmail.com
Sep 25, 2013 06:41pm

Pakistani people are very brave and are always ready to combat the natural catastrophes and calamities. And I hope that by the grace of Almighty Allah, we will raise and stand by them to help them come out of this disaster! Amen

ahmed soomar
Sep 25, 2013 06:47pm

What about your Prime Minister ? what he is doing in New York?

sherie
Sep 25, 2013 07:34pm

21st century and the concept of remote area in Pakistan: no hospital no medicine, no roads, no power. if an emergency occurs, Edhi and army get there sooner than the people elected by the poor suffering.

a
Sep 25, 2013 08:05pm

@madhu: Shame on you for saying such things. You are not a human.

a
Sep 25, 2013 08:06pm

@Sumant Mishra: Thank you for the kind words Sumant.

a
Sep 25, 2013 08:11pm

May allah have mercy. We as ordinary Pakistani's should do everything to help the poor victims. I myself will be donating as much as I can. Also, a huge thank you to the Pakistan Army. You make me feel proud as a Pakistani.

dua
Sep 25, 2013 08:19pm

@madhu: MR MADHU ,we r not killing any of our Pakistani these are Indian agents who are provoking people in baluchistan aganist Pakistan.our mosques,imam bargahs,and other worship places more over our educational institutes are not safe from these terrorists.so tell me are we delebrately doing it ?no .

dua
Sep 25, 2013 08:23pm

@Ishrat salim: this is the time when baluchi people shhould realise that who are sincere ?their tribel leaders .who are spending their evenings by taking gorrie ladies in their lap or brave pakistan ARMY ?they are sleeping .

Chris
Sep 25, 2013 08:49pm

@Ishrat salim: Pakistani muslims killed innocent Christian in Peshawr, there you go thats the revenge from my Almighty Lord to Paki Muslims. What comes around goes around.

Thats the Karma. Hope Paki Muslims understand.

N. K. DHUVAD
Sep 25, 2013 08:59pm

PRAYING ALMIGHTY TO GIVE HUMANITY TO HELP ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED - GOD BLESS ALL.

Janikhel
Sep 25, 2013 09:02pm

@Ishrat salim: Please don't push the government, which government are you trying to refer too, you are talking about telephone government, big promises nothing else, so is the rest of these fat necks and bellies, don't ask for help, ask the UK, US, Russia or Israel, you might get a straight answer.

HemangaGoswami
Sep 25, 2013 09:14pm

At this crucial moment we should stand together and help each other.

US CENTCOM
Sep 25, 2013 09:55pm

In these times of challenges we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Pakistani brothers. We echo Ambassador Richard C. Olson

GM
Sep 25, 2013 10:04pm

Sometimes I wonder if this is the test from Allah or the warning.

Ravi Ingale from Pune
Sep 25, 2013 10:07pm

God's Revenge for killing his innocent Children.

M I Khan
Sep 25, 2013 11:04pm

@GM: You just need to go out and help people rather thank thinking about such trivialities!

Al Fatmi
Sep 25, 2013 11:12pm

@GM: Allah is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, then how come, we can say its a test or a warning ....as if He up there just waiting to take revenge from his own creation. So, please get out of this medieval mindset.

Gilzai
Sep 25, 2013 11:21pm

It is a divine message to the Pakistani majority, STOP Killing Christians, SHIAS, Hindus and Ahmedies in Pakistan now!!!!

Dinesh S
Sep 25, 2013 11:26pm

Terrible Tragedy, reminds me of the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake, The entire city of Bhuj was wiped off. Hope the government steps in and helps and not steal all the relief money coming in as was the case in Gujarat Earthquake or the Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan. :(

sehrish
Sep 26, 2013 12:38am

I m finally feeling the imp of becoming, I hope i live to that day when i become one, though

Modi
Sep 26, 2013 02:11am

@GM: It is a warning to a people --specially Pakistani Muslims who have gone totally astray with extremist and unislamic cultural practices in the name of Islam. The Pakistani society is doomed to further retribution unless it cleanse itself from wrong interpretation of the Quranic injunctions. Just don't listen to the Mullahs and side track them from social and governance issues.

Murtaza Raissani
Sep 26, 2013 04:25am

All those brutal corrupt Baloch Sardars have never bothered to build hospital, roads or any infrastructure for such natural disasters. Now they will rob them with the help of our elected officials from all the donations which will be sent by all the international NGOs. New income source for those brutal sardars & nawabs on the expense of these poor suffering people.

uzair
Sep 26, 2013 04:30am

@GM: Neither. Study geography, and understand why earth quakes happen.

BIMAL CHANDRA JHA
Sep 26, 2013 05:15am

Sir, I still believe that poverty is the greatest and the most cruel enemy of mankind. Had the government of Pakistan cared for the development of the remote areas in Balochistan I am sure medical facilities and human efforts would have saved many precious lives. Unfortunately we do not understand the basic tenets of mankind and we leave our lives at the mercy of Allah, God or Ishwar by whatever name we call the Almighty. This is just our solace and nothing else. Let us prevail wisdom. Yours faithfully; BIMAL CHANDRA JHA

Chaigram
Sep 26, 2013 07:32am

@madhu: What a disgraceful thing to say, as most who died or injured are innocent poor people. Look at your own track record. Shame on you....God does not raise his wreath on poor and innocent.

madhu
Sep 26, 2013 08:16am

@a: neither are those who kill the innocent minorities.

Muhammad
Sep 26, 2013 08:36am

Good luck pakistan . Great move by not accepting any outside help it might sound crazy but I really this is good idea .

Anees
Sep 26, 2013 09:07am

How can people like me working abroad help these people? I am asking seriously.

Ahmed
Sep 26, 2013 10:49am

@madhu: There is no doubt that minorities are suffering but Madhu you should know that Balochs are also counted as minority (refer to population census). In Balochistan all minorities are living in peace and harmony for the past many centuries. I believe it is time to share love not to spread hate.

humaira agha
Sep 26, 2013 11:58am

I just want to know how can we help? please i request DAWN to tell us which disaster agencies are there helping people and how can we donate whether it be money, blankets, medicine, food etc. What happened is heartbreaking but now is the time to pull our pants up and get busy saving lives and helping survivors survive!

Exodus
Sep 26, 2013 01:53pm

@a: The pakistani Army could not help the christians in church when they were blasted in pieces... what can they do to an earthquake?

My heart goes to the families of those killed in the earthquake.. but i kind of see it in another light as God taking vengeance for the killing of his people which comes a few days after the bombing... Lets pray for peace in PAKISTAN cos I believe GOD ALMIGHTY is not happy. Balochistan constitutes of Majorly Muslims.. I am not suprised but saddened cos God said in his holy book that we should not take delight in the death/ plight of even our enemies or their destruction shall come upon us too.

Zafar Ayub Khan
Sep 26, 2013 02:16pm

how would madhu describe disasters like cyclones and hurricanes in US, earthquakes in Japan, and floods in China and Europe?

Ahmed
Sep 26, 2013 02:34pm

Awaran is not located on another planet or on any foreign country. It has easy road access from Bela if you are moving from Karachi (Southern Pakistan) and from Khuzdar if you are coming from Quetta (Northern Pakistan).

It would be practical and beneficial for the peoples in need if government (all provinces and federal) take serious efforts and establish "donation accepting camps" with basic facilities like electricity and access to toilets so that active and trust worthy organizations may establish stalls on these designated locations in in Karachi and Quetta or any other part of this country known as Pakistan so that peoples who wants to donate something can approach these teams who are actively taking part in providing aid. Only organizations with good reputation may be invited to setup their stalls in these designated locations and media should telecast the information about the locations.

Sujith
Sep 26, 2013 04:45pm

Let god give enough strength to those who lost the loved ones . No one can stop this natural calamity other than god.

US CENTCOM
Sep 26, 2013 04:54pm

We send our deepest heartfelt condolences to the victims

sherie
Sep 26, 2013 08:22pm

@GM: neither! about time we stop thinking this way. our home is on a belt of converging geological plates. we live in the basin of might rivers. floods and quakes are our heritage much like the highest mountains and fertile lands are. we only need to be pro active and prepare. learn from past and make sure future is better.

Observer
Sep 26, 2013 09:28pm

I think it is a punishment from Allah for disturbing the christian minorities causing death to about a hundred believers who gathered at their church.

hasana
Sep 26, 2013 10:05pm

@madhu: baloch are minority you eee-dee-ooo-tt you are clueless about balochistan

SMC
Sep 26, 2013 11:40pm

@Ahmed: Baloch people are peace lovers, but Pakistani establishments are not allowing them to live peacefully. Pakistani establishments are giving step-mother treatment to Balochs. These people are always treated with guns. Balochs should learn from Bagaladeshis, who fought against their exploitations and became Independent to live peacefully.

ANSER AZIM
Sep 26, 2013 11:44pm

My condolences to these people who ahve lost their kith and kins and dua for those who have been injured. It is good idea not to accept aid. Aid and Medical supplies should come from Government of Pakistan.

gangadin
Sep 27, 2013 01:02am

No outside help. We are not Africa.

nikhil
Sep 27, 2013 03:11am

Guys stop commenting here about government, armies and God... Better leave your computer and try reaching to the needy people in baluchistan After all its humanity that's to be served first and yes please stop terrorism whomsoever is abetting it. Cz bullets and bombs got no eye to differentiate between apne and paraye...

A bomb knows no religion and these terrorist are brain washed idiots who follow some stupid ideology... Love to all beautiful chicks there in Pakistan and Salam to guys... God please make indo pak border transparent soon....

mohammed i bawaney
Sep 27, 2013 07:38am

I WOULD LIKE TO DONATE FOOD ITEMS VALUE RS 130000/ TO POOR PEOPLE THROUGT DAWN NEWS PAPER SOME HONEST JOUNLIST WHO PERSONALLY VISIT THERE AND DO NEED FUL

miqbalrangoonwala
Sep 27, 2013 07:46am

@Ishrat salim: this is pakistan

ibrahim
Sep 27, 2013 09:33am

We all need to do toba and ask Allah to forgive our sins. As we are muslims we all need to help them not just give money but we should try to go there ourselves see and feel the pain. May Allah Help them. Ameen

Shah
Sep 27, 2013 09:53am

@Muhammad : It is very easy to be egoist. Just think of the injured children, mothers, fathers etc - and think of their agonies. You are not a part of the population that is suffering - no basic necessacities. . Place yourself and your family members in their shoes (should thgey have any shoes even). If you are so nationalistic than rush to the affected areas, help the people, spend funds from your bank account and buy necessacities for them - should you have no funds sell your computer etc and go and help them.

humaira agha
Sep 27, 2013 10:50am

@Ravi Ingale from Pune: and for you my friend this was the right time to say this? Wonder if you would have the same statement if your loved ones were among the victims.

humaira agha
Sep 27, 2013 10:55am

@madhu: so then the wrath should be upon the killers not the poor people who are victims of this. Sometimes its better to think and then think again, your statement seems to say tit for tat but who is paying the price, its the poor balouchs.

humaira agha
Sep 27, 2013 10:54am

@Chris: I am sure your Lord wont appreciate your statement, as he is the Lord for all mankind, even those poor muslims who died.

Hamidmemon
Sep 27, 2013 04:43pm

Unfortunate people we are that at the time of such disaster only the dress-people are helping the victom of earthquake. As usual our civilian lords are on Honeymoon trip.When we will get a nation leader who care for country and its people????