UPDATE [10/31]: The AP reported, “Doctors said Friday they were running out of drugs and artificial limbs for victims of the earthquake in southwestern Pakistan amid fears that the death toll would climb beyond 300.”
UPDATE [10/30 1100 EST]: Pakistani soldiers handed out tents, blankets, and sleeping bags to earthquake survivors on Thursday, as news agencies reported the death toll rose to 215.
UPDATE [1100 EST]: The AFP is reporting that the death toll has now risen to at least 170. According to GEO News, “The death toll could rise as rescue workers move into more remote villages. Hundreds of others had been injured in the tremor and perhaps 15,000 left homeless and in need of help.”
On Wednesday, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Balochistan [southwest Pakistan] killed at least 150 people, and left thousands homeless. While many media outlets quoted 150 casualties, AAJ Television and Dawn both reported that the death toll has risen to 160, with many “believed to be buried under rubble.” The news outlets reported that about about 20 aftershocks followed the earthquake, rattling “the survivors.” AAJ quoted a resume workers in Wam, “one of the worst-hit villages where authorities were using excavators to dig mass graves,” who said, “The village has been flattened. You can’t see a house still standing. There’s destruction everywhere.” [Images from BBC News, above]
Updated newswires reported that a second earthquake occurred in the same area later in the day. According to USA Today, “The initial quake obliterated hundreds of fragile mud-and-timber homes, officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the second quake, which was felt in the city of Quetta and nearby regions of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
According to CNN, “Ten hours after the quake, the rescue operations continued with the Pakistani army sending helicopters to ferry in blankets and relief supplies and airlift the scores of wounded.” Dawn cited Minister for Revenue and Rehabilitation Zamaruk Khan, who said “the government was preparing to provide food, shelter and medical care to survivors of the quake.” BBC News reported that the worst-hit area appeared to be Ziarat, about 50km north of Quetta, where hundreds of mostly mud and timber houses had been destroyed in five villages. Dawn quoted Ziarat district chief Dilawar Khan, who said, “Hundreds of mud houses have collapsed. We are using whatever resources we have to help the people and have asked for help from the provincial government.” [Image from Dawn]
Media outlets report that this is the deadliest earthquake since the massive earthquake that hit the Kashmir region in 2005. CHUP will continue to provide updates as they occur.