New earthquake brings more misery to Pakistan province
A new, powerful earthquake struck Pakistan's already devastated south-western province of Balochistan on Saturday, bringing destruction to a town of 15,000 people, dpa reported.
There were no immediate estimates of casualties following the 7.2-magnitude tremor, which Chief Meteorologist Tauseef Alam said had its epicentre in the district of Awaran. The US Geological Survey estimated the quake's maximum intensity at 6.8.
Abdul Rasheed Baloch, a coordination officer in Awaran, said the village of Noukju had been badly affected by the tremor, which came just days after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake killed more than 500 people.
"A number of house and buildings have collapsed but there is no immediate report of any death," he said. "Rescue teams have been dispatched to the affected town."
Four people trapped in the rubble of a house were rescued with the help of local people, he added.
Cracks appeared in the walls of the major state-owned hospital in Awaran, where the victims of Tuesday's quake were being treated.
A number of patients and doctors were evacuated after the tremor but then returned to the building, as there are no alternative facilities in the area.
The provincial assembly of Balochistan was in session in the capital Quetta at the time of the tremor.
Geo television showed images of lawmakers rushing out as the tremor shook the building.
Zahid Rafi of the National Seismic Center said the latest quake was the result of continuing seismic activity in the region.
"More earthquakes cannot be ruled out as such tremors sometimes create new fault lines," he said.
The latest tremor was felt as far as in the southern province of Sindh.
Authorities are still struggling to carry relief goods to remote areas of the province hit by Tuesday's quake.