GWADAR: A girl was injured and walls of over 60 mud-houses collapsed in the Pansi area of Gwadar district in a powerful earthquake that struck the coast of Makran in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake jolted the port city of Gwadar, Pasni, Jewani and Turbat areas of Balochistan.

However, no major damages and casualty were reported from any area of Makran.

The quake’s epicentre was 23km southwest of coastal town of Pasni and 90km south of Turbat. “The depth of the quake was located 10km below the seabed,” Meterological Depart­ment officials told Dawn.

The US Geological Sur­vey earlier estimated the tremor’s magnitude 6.6 and said its epicentre was bet­ween Gwadar and Pasni, which was completely des­troyed by a tsunami in 1945.

According to reports, the quake struck Gwadar, Tur­bat, Pasni, Jewani and other parts of the Makran coast at 3.4am, causing panic among the people and forcing them to leave their houses and rush to open places.

A 5.3-magnitude tremor struck the Mekran coast again at 4.15am, forcing the people to spend the night under the open sky.

“Many aftershocks were recorded after the main tremor in Pasni and other areas,” Abdul Hakim Baloch, chairman of the Pasni Municipal Commit­tee, said, adding that a girl was injured when the wall of her house collapsed in the town.

Walls of more than 60 houses collapsed and cra­cks developed in several others in Pasni, he said, adding that the Municipal Committee would carry out a survey to assess the damage.

Makran Division Com­missioner Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai said that teams had been sent to the far-flung areas of Makran to assess possible damages.

Gwadar Deputy Commis­sioner Dr Tufail Ahmed Baloch said the port city remained safe in the strong tremor.

“The earthquake created panic among the residents of Gwadar because of the fear that it may cause tsunami,” said Jahangir Baloch, a fisherman who was in the sea for fishing when the quake struck the area.

Published in Dawn February 9th, 2017

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