A 7.8 earthquake struck Pakistan in the country’s western region on Tuesday. Despite being a low population area, many structures faced damage or were destroyed and 46 people are now declared dead. Most of these deaths were women and children, officials say. Several dozen injuries have been reported. The fear now is that people are trapped, alive, under rubble.
The earthquake was also felt hundreds of miles away as far as the major Pakistani port city of Karachi. Reuters reports that far to the east in New Delhi, India’s capital city, tremors from the quake were felt and buildings were shaking. Though Pakistani officials have declared the earthquake a 7.7 magnitude, the US Geological Survey registered the event as a 7.8 earthquake. Right now there are concerns about aftershocks and further tremors.
Pakistan officials say relief and rescue teams are headed to the nation’s Baluchistan province where the earthquake hit hardest. This includes 200 army troops and helicopters. They are now assessing the full extent of the damage.
CBS News reports that the province is the least populated in Pakistan. However, it is also known as being the home to some of the most impoverished Pakistanis. A number of villages were devastated, with many buildings falling apart during the powerful earthquake. Villagers rushed out into the streets as the earthquake began. One man recalls leading his family to an open field for safety, fearing the danger of collapsing walls and ceilings. They and other villagers gathered there and prayed for the tremors to end.
The southwest province of Baluchistan shares a border with Iran. Experts say the area is known for its sometimes violent geological activity. Authorities say that assessing the damage from the Tuesday’s powerful 7.8 earthquake in Pakistan will take extra time because of how remote the region is.
Raw footage taken from security cameras during the earthquake included below:
[Image via Twitter / Miandaddy]