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Twenty killed, over 300 injured in Harnai earthquake

Toll may rise, warns PDMA

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Oct 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

As many as 20 people were killed after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Balochistan at around 3am Thursday.

Epicentre of the earthquake was near Harnai, Balochistan and its depth was 15km, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said.

Tremors were also felt in other parts of the province, including Quetta, Pishin, Sibi, Muslimbagh, Killa Abdullah Sanjavi, Zhob and Chaman.

PDMA said that rescue teams and heavy machinery have been sent from Quetta.

Levies Force’s rescue teams have also been dispatched for Harnai.

The severely injured will be shifted to Quetta for treatment, DC Harnai said.

Temporary tents have been set up for people whose houses have been damaged, said DC Harnai.

“We are receiving information that 20 people have been killed due to the earthquake,” said Balochistan’s home minister Mir Zia ullah Langau. 

A woman and six children were among 20 dead, Suhail Anwar Hashmi, a senior provincial government official in Harnai told AFP, adding that “more than 200 people have been injured”.

“There are reports that some 15 coal miners are trapped in a mine on the outskirts of the town due to the quake,” he added.

It is common in Pakistan for miners to work at night when temperatures are cooler. 

A rescue team was being sent to the mine, while helicopters were due to be dispatched to support the rescue effort and evacuate the injured. 

Naseer Nasar, the head of Balochistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority, warned that the toll may rise.

Statement from Balochistan Spokesperson

According to a spokesperson for the Balochistan government, as many as 16 people had been killed and 200 others were injured in the earthquake that struck Harnai at 3:02am on Thursday morning.

Liaquat Shahwani said that shocks were felt as far away as Quetta, Chaman, Ziarat, Zhob, Sibbi, Loralai, Dukki, Pishin, Qila Saifullah and Muslim Bagh.

Roofs of several houses collapsed in Harnai, causing the maximum number of casualties, he said, adding that a power outage struck the area right after the earthquake. He said that a number of government buildings had also been damaged.

Shahwani said that helicopters were used to airlift critically injured persons to Quetta.

A large number of casualties had occurred among women and children in the earthquake-hit area.

Hospital works by torchlight

The quake caused electricity to fail in the area, with health staff working until dawn without lights in a poorly equipped government hospital.

Before daybreak, “we were operating without electricity with the help of torches and mobile flashlights,” Zahoor Tarin, a senior official at the government-run Harnai hospital, told AFP.

“Most of the injured came with fractured limbs. Dozens of people were sent back after first aid,” he said, adding that “at least 40 people were received with critical injuries”.

“We have imposed an emergency in the hospital and are providing them with medical treatment.”

Private individuals were helping rush the injured to hospitals.

Frontier Corps set up medical camp

Frontier Corps spokesperson said that their rescue team have reached area ann have set up a medical camp.

People who are severely injured are being sent to Quetta for treatment by Army helicopters , the spokesperson said.

CM Balochistan says provincial authorities on alert  

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of human lives in Hernai earthquake.

The chief minister said that Provincial Disaster Management Authority, PPHI, district administration and other relief agencies are on alert.

Ambulances, emergency assistants and helicopters are being used for medical aid in the affected areas of Harnai, he added

With additional information from AFP

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