5:49 p.m. Pakistan time:
Numerous homes are said to have collapsed in Turbat, and the electric supply system in Pasni was also damaged by the earthquake. Casualty reports still indicate that two are dead, but there are new reports coming in. The number of injured people in the Awaran area is now eight.
Officials in Balochistan have declared an emergency in Awaran, which sustained the worst damage in the quake.
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5:30 p.m. Pakistan time:
CNBC Pakistan reports that the first deaths have been confirmed in Awaran. At least two people died in the earthquake and many more are buried alive under homes which collapsed there. The TV network also reports that a historical fort and two schools in Awaran were destroyed in the earthquake. Pakistani officials are calling for the Army to help in Awaran and Mashkel.
Met office officials told The Express Tribune that since the epicenter of the earthquake was in a remote part of Pakistan, “major damage and loss of life was averted.” However, the agency also warned that there could be aftershocks of up to 5.0 magnitude.
Reports of injuries in the earthquake in Pakistan and India are just starting to come in via Twitter. Twitter user @Silencepakistan reports “many people injured” and major damage to homes is being reported in Dalhandin Mashkeel, Awaran and other parts of Balochistan.
The shaking is said by some Twitter users to have lasted for approximately two minutes, although the U.S. Geological Survey reports that the earthquake lasted for about eight seconds. The earthquake hit at a depth of 28 kilometers, according to Express News.
According to RT, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System reports that 337,980 people live within 100 kilometers of the earthquake’s epicenter. The site also reports that “an unspecified number of people” have been injured and are being taken to local hospitals. Local media reports in Pakistan say those living along the coastline are most likely to be affected.
The Express Tribune, one of Pakistan’s English-language newspapers, is providing live updates online of what’s happening in Pakistan around the epicenter of the earthquake. The site reports that Quetta is providing relief goods for parts of Balochistan that were affected, but unfortunately it will take about eight to ten hours to get those goods out to Awaran, where some of the worst damage is, because of the long drive.
We’re just starting to get early reports about damage caused by today’s earthquake, which was centered in Balochistan, Pakistan and shook Pakistan and India. CNBC Pakistan is reporting via its Twitter feed that some “communication systems” in Awaran and some parts of Balochistan were destroyed in the earthquake. The TV station is also reporting that several homes were damaged in Pasni and Awaran and that cell phone networks were becoming jammed because of heavy traffic after the earthquake.
According to CNBC Pakistan Chief Meteorlogist Muhammad Tauseef Alam, the earthquake was larger and more severe than the one which happened on Oct. 8, 2005. That 2005 earthquake also measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, although it was located in Kashmir. It killed 80,000 people and left another 3.5 million people homeless.
An earthquake struck Pakistan and India after 4:30 p.m. Pakistan time on Tuesday (7:30 a.m. Eastern). According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and was centered about 145 miles south-southeast of Dalbandin in Balochistan, Pakistan. It was felt throughout the region, including in Karachi and parts of India, including New Delhi.
Witness accounts from Pakistan and India
At this point there are no reports of damage. When the quake hit, many residents of these areas ran outside to wait until the tremors passed. On Earthquake-Report, one witness reported being in a four-story building in Karachi. The person saw the water of the aquarium shaking, and the building itself was shaking slightly.
In Delhi, some witnesses reported feeling shakes two times.
This story is developing. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.