QUETTA: A powerful earthquake struck southeastern Iran on Tuesday, killing at least 34 people across the border in Pakistan and shaking buildings as far away as the Gulf and New Delhi.
A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Iran near the border with Pakistan and tremors were felt in India and Gulf states.
“At least 34 people have been killed and 80 others wounded in Mashkail,” a local government official told AFP.
“The bodies are at the hospital and injured are being treated by army doctors. Paramilitary forces are busy in rescue work.”
The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 10:44 GMT at a depth of 15.2 km. The epicentre was in southeast Iran in an area of mountains and desert.
It was located 201 km southeast of the Iranian city of Zahedan and 250 km northwest of Turbat in Pakistan, USGS said.
Several people were injured in the Panjgur and Mashkeel areas of Balochistan, while around 50 people sustained injuries in Karachi in incidents of roof collapse.
Over 1,000 houses were partially damaged in Balochistan.
An Iranian government official said he expected hundreds of deaths from the earthquake.
“It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Iranian city of Saravan, which lies near the centre of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit the country on Tuesday, has not seen serious damage, the Fars news agency said.
Tremors were felt in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Larkana, Jacobabad, Quetta and other cities which created panic amongst people. However, no casualties were reported PPI reported.
Office workers stand outside of their buildings following an earthquake tremor in Karachi April 16, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS
Express News reported that the earthquake was felt in Rahim Yar Khan, Serai Desert, Faisalabad, and Shahdadkot.
In areas near Multan and DI Khan the tremors were felt for around ten seconds, but people were scared and evacuated immediately.
Buildings in Karachi were immediately evacuated after the tremors were felt.
Express employees exit the Karachi office after the earthquake. PHOTO: JAHANZAIB HAQUE
“My desk started shaking and we ran out of the building. Since then we are standing outside our office,” a Karachi-ite shared his experience.
People anticipating aftershocks in all the main areas of Karachi refused to go inside the buildings.
Shahra-e-Faisal, an area with numerous offices, was crowded with people who evacuated their offices and were hesitant to go back inside the buildings.
People evacuating from buildings in Karachi. PHOTO: SARA MUZZAMIL
“Two of my colleagues fainted during the tremor but we were successful in evacuating through our emergency exit,” a citizen expressed his experience.
After the sudden halt in flights, airport authorities announced that they would take-off as per schedule.
In Balochistan, the earthquake was felt in Gadani, Harnai, Chaman and Gwadar.
According to Met Office sources, the intensity of the earthquake was 5.4 magnitudes in Balochistan, however, some other geological sources said that the intensity was recorded at 6.4 magnitude.
People running after the earthquake tremors. PHOTO: Maazj94
Strong tremors shook tall buildings in India’s capital New Delhi on Tuesday.
A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake hit 125 kilometres (77 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island at 8:00 pm local time (10:00 GMT), at a depth of 10 kilometres.
US offers assistance
Following the earthquake, the United States offered to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims in Balochistan.
“We have seen the reports of the earthquake near Khash on the Iran-Pakistan border, and we’re monitoring the situation. We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones during the earthquake,” a State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell.
“The United States does stand ready to assist either Iran or Pakistan at this point.”