Earthquake In Pakistan Kills At Least 20 People, More Than 200 Injured

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Earthquake In Pakistan Kills At Least 20 People, More Than 200 Injured

Topline

At least 20 people were killed and more than 200 were injured on Thursday after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the south-western Pakistani province of Balochistan, a disaster that takes place more than eight years after the region was devastated by a more severe 7.7 magnitude earthquake.

Key Facts

According to Pakistan’s Disaster Management Authority, the quake struck Balochistan’s Harnai district early on Thursday morning while most victims were still asleep.

Rescue workers have noted that most of those killed were either women or children.

The quake had a shallow epicenter of about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) below the earth’s surface, which made the destruction worse.

Officials have expressed fear that the death toll could rise significantly as the region is dotted with several coal mines and several miners were already at work, according to the Associated Press.

Crucial Quote

Reacting to the tragedy, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “I have ordered immediate assistance on an emergency basis for the Harnai, Balochistan, earthquake victims & for an immediate assessment of the damage for timely relief & compensation. My condolences & prayers go to the families who lost their loved ones.”

Key Background

Balochistan, which is Pakistan’s least populated province, lies in a seismically active area. The region’s worst earthquake was back in 1935 and decimated the provincial capital of Quetta, causing the deaths of over 35,000 people. Since then the region has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes with the last major one taking place in 2013 when a 7.7. magnitude earthquake caused the deaths of at least 330 people and injured 445 others.

Further Reading

Strong earthquake in southwest Pakistan kills at least 20 (Associated Press)

At least 20 killed after 5.9-magnitude earthquake hits southwestern Pakistan (CNN)

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