Earthquake: Food supplies and tents reach Awaran

Published: September 25, 2013

A Pakistani earthquake survivor family sit in a tent near their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

A Pakistani earthquake survivor family sit in a tent near their collapsed mud houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013. PHOTO: AFP Troops ride to areas in Balochistan affected by an earthquake in military trucks in Karachi on September 25, 2013. PHOTO: AFP Survivors of an earthquake walk on rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, Balochistan, September 25, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS A man rescues livestock in the affected Awaran district. PHOTO: AGENCIES Screengrab of some of the victims of the quake undergoing treatment.

AWARAN: Over 700 tents and 500 food packages were sent to Awaran, one of the earthquake stricken towns of Balochistan by the provincial disaster management authority on Wednesday.

“The food supplies, however are far from being enough,” reported Aslam Khan, Bureau Chief Express News.

More than 328 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured because of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Balochistan on September 24, Express News reported on Wednesday.

Around 208 people died in the Awaran district alone. It is feared that the death toll will continue to rise as many people are reportedly trapped under rubble.

The food supplies that took 25 hours to reach to Awaran are now expected to be distributed tomorrow. According to reports, the security situation prevalent in the town is proving to be hindrance in the distribution of necessities to the affected people.

Army troops have also been deployed, reported Khan.

Awaran which is a sparsely populated town of 150,000 people has come to a standstill since the earthquake which has claimed over 350 lives in the province.

Amongst other issues faced by the city, dearth of water and lack of shelter is proving to be the most unsettling issue to the people.

“People are afraid to sleep in their houses because of the fear that the roofs might collapse,” said Khan, adding that the heat during the day became unbearable.

“In Mashkhel, tents and food supplies haven’t even reached yet,” said Khan.

Affected areas

“A total of six districts — Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar — and a population of over 300,000 have been affected by the earthquake,” said Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesman for the Balochistan government.

The head of the provincial disaster management agency, Abdul Latif Kakar, said that 30 people had died in Kech district, a toll confirmed by a senior local official.

10 children were taken out alive from the rubble of a collapsed madrassa in the Awaran district of Balochistan while 15 children were found dead.

It was reported earlier that at least 33 bodies were found in Mashkay and 173 bodies were found in Awaran.

Abdul Rasheed Baloch, a senior official in Awaran said “around 90 percent of the houses in the district have been destroyed. Almost all the mud houses have collapsed.”

Some of the dead have already been laid to rest in their villages, he added.

Many people in the affected areas do not have access to food, drinking water or tents. This situation is worsened by the extremely hot climate and the closure or destruction of utility stores.

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Relief work

One thousand army personnel from Quetta and Khazdar have reached the affected areas and started relief work, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Army units from Karachi are also headed to these areas to provide aid.

People in other areas removed rubble from their shattered houses themselves to rescue those buried in the wreckage.

The former chairman of Bahria Town, Malik Riaz said that each of the affected families will be given Rs200,000 to help them.

Buledi said teams were working to recover bodies, but the priority was to move the injured to hospitals as soon as possible — a difficult task in a desolate area with minimal infrastructure.

“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals,” he said.

“We are trying to shift seriously injured people to Karachi through helicopters and others to the neighbouring districts.”

Seventeen of the injured have already been taken to Karachi for treatment.

Rasheed Baluch said teams had worked through the night to try to retrieve bodies and survivors from the rubble.

Meanwhile, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Shangla area of Malakand. The epicentre of this earthquake is Hindukush and it is 163km deep.

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Background

Tremors and aftershocks of the quake were felt as far afield as the Indian capital of New Delhi and the Gulf states of Oman and the UAE. The US Geological Survey (USGS) had issued a red alert, warning that heavy casualties were likely based on past data.

The government ordered a massive rescue operation. Army and civil rescuers were sent to the affected region to pull out casualties as residents said dozens of people are trapped under the rubble of their collapsed houses.

According to the USGS, the epicentre was 23 kilometres below the ground in Awaran district. It was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island off Gwadar coast in the Arabian Sea. In 2005, a 7.6-magnitude quake centred in Azad Kashmir had caused widespread damage, killing at least 80,000 people and leaving millions shelter-less in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan.

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Tuesday’s quake hit Quetta, Chagai, Dalbandin, Naushki, Panjgur, Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara, Mastung, Kalat, Sorab, Khuzdar, Sibi, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Lasbela, Taftan, Nokkundi and dozens of other cities and towns of the impoverished province.

Awaran district has an estimated population of around 300,000, scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres. “Over 50% of urban and around 90% of rural areas of the district have been ravaged by the quake,” Mir Quddus Bizenjo, the deputy speaker of Balochistan Assembly, had told reporters by phone. He had put the death toll at 150-plus in Awaran alone.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Sep 25, 2013 - 9:25AM

    The death toll in Balochistan is more due to Kaccha houses made by the poor people.

    Had Balochistan government provided monetary assistance to poor people to made houses with cement and steel, this could have limit the death toll due to earth quake.

    Recommend

  • M. Emad
    Sep 25, 2013 - 9:43AM

    Pakistan’s biggest quake happened in 1971. The ‘ideology’, ‘foundation’ collasped.

    Most Pakistani haven’t realised it.

    Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2013 - 10:33AM

    @M. Emad Oh you trolls never cease to amaze me. Its a news story about an earth quake. You know ? when earth shakes and houses collapse and people die ? Ever experienced it ? It has nothing to do with ideology, foundation, blah blah blah !

    Recommend

  • Hamza
    Sep 25, 2013 - 11:19AM

    May Allah Almighty be merciful on all of us. Its a natural calamity.

    Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2013 - 11:31AM

    My deep condolences to the victims. Our prayers are with the people of Pakistan in this moment of grief.

    Recommend

  • Water Bottle
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:22PM

    This maybe the rock bottom for Pakistan.

    But that’s good news, because from here on, the road is upwards.

    Leave aside prejudices, adhere to secularism and work towards progress and growth.

    Recommend

  • 007
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:30PM

    @M. Emad and all the people who clicked on that ‘Recommend’ button: Get well soon.

    Recommend

  • Ammar
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:05PM

    so anybody heard of HAARP ?

    Recommend

  • Rabbani
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:07PM

    Sarmad Hassan

    @M. Emad Oh you trolls never cease to amaze me. Its a news story about an earth quake. You know ? when earth shakes and houses collapse and people die ? Ever experienced it ? It has nothing to do with ideology, foundation, blah blah blah !

    This teaches us to never talk logic with Indian trolls as they are not rational.

    Recommend

  • A Pakistani
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:10PM

    The fact that people still continue to ridicule our ‘ideology’ while the people in Balochistan suffer from the disaster tells a lot about our nation. Perhaps we shun the idle talk for a while and at least pray for the sufferers.

    Recommend

  • A Pakistani
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:11PM

    @Ammar: It’s not necessary to link everything with a conspiracy.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:22PM

    To those trying to link this geography altering geological event to USA should take the time to study the dynamic nature of the earth crust, tectonic plates, and how land mass is regenerated and reshaped. The limited knowledge we have about these phenomena might evoke some humility to respect Mother Nature.

    Recommend

  • Humanity
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:35PM

    @A Pakistani:
    An ideology devoid of safeguarding the God given human rights collapses on itself. Earthquakes are signs to warn mankind that they better stay within the confines of humanity and not dare to step in the divine realm and become judges of faith.

    It is time to take heed of the atrocities being committed in the name of an ideology that is bereft of humanity. The blood streams of the innocent evoke the abhorrence of God Almighty to wash away the hollow foundations of an ideology that leads humanity towards darkness.

    Wake up from self worship and pay attention to haquq ul ibaad.

    Recommend

  • Naveed Alam Khattak
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:55PM

    Why our political govts are not doing anything for our poor people. Look at these people, how poor and in bad condition are they? Despite having gold mines, gas fields and lot of other resources, these people are living in such a bad condition. They have no roads, rails, schools, hospitals. Why are we doing this with our own people. We always rely on our Army in such a disaster. When will our Political leaders get matured and they will start working for their people.

    Recommend

  • usman786
    Sep 25, 2013 - 2:03PM

    Time for Pak (Army) to win earts of people of Balochistan

    Recommend

  • M.Emad
    Sep 25, 2013 - 2:22PM

    @Rabbani:
    I am not Indian…….

    Recommend

  • Manishj
    Sep 25, 2013 - 3:32PM

    Hope the help is reaching to the victims asap.. lets all pray together for the safety and well being of those who have survived..

    Recommend

  • Last Word
    Sep 25, 2013 - 5:52PM

    @M. Emad:
    Whether you are an Indian or not, mentioning 1971 is a shameful and disgusting comment which has no relation with a natural disaster and that has adversely affected lacs of poor people in this region who have lost their near and dear ones and are without shelter.Recommend

  • Indian
    Sep 25, 2013 - 8:18PM

    RIP…….Will Pakistanis accept our help????

    Recommend

  • indian
    Sep 25, 2013 - 9:02PM

    @Rabbani:
    rabbani are you hina rabbani?
    you talk like her.

    Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2013 - 9:58PM

    In these times of challenges we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Pakistani brothers. We echo Ambassador Richard C. Olson’s statement, who said, “We extend condolences to the families who lost loved ones during the earthquake in western Pakistan. Our thoughts are with the injured and those who have lost so much in this tragedy. We are closely monitoring the situation. The United States stands ready to assist the people of Pakistan.”

    Abdul Quddus
    DET-United States Central Command

    Recommend

  • ModiFied
    Sep 25, 2013 - 10:33PM

    @Syed A. Mateen: “The death toll in Balochistan is more due to Kaccha houses made by the poor people.”

    Have you forgotten the Earthquake in which High rise concrete buildings in and around Islamabad feel like cards and scores of people died? One need to build Earthquake proof structures like they do in Japan and other countries.

    Recommend

  • csmann
    Sep 25, 2013 - 10:35PM

    wHEre is TTP and comapny?they could have shown some goodwill come help people in need;But then,they only know how to shoot and kill innocents.

    Recommend

  • Rabbani
    Sep 25, 2013 - 11:13PM

    indian

    @Rabbani:
    rabbani are you hina rabbani?
    you talk like her.

    We realize that Indians can only come up with these sort of things at best. You people have my sympathies.

    Recommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf
    Sep 25, 2013 - 11:34PM

    @Naveed Alam Khattak:
    When you can’t take care of your largest province of Baluchistan, how will you take care of Kashmir?

    Recommend

  • Rabbani
    Sep 26, 2013 - 12:25AM

    Mohammed Yusuf

    @Naveed Alam Khattak:
    When you can’t take care of your largest province of Baluchistan, how will you take care of Kashmir?

    Wow, that’s amazing! World didn’t know you had devised some “magical” ways to prevent earthquakes and other natural disasters. Unlike you, we can’t predict these sorts of phenomena. We can only lessen the sufferings of our brethren in these testing times, which we are doing to our best.

    Recommend

  • Sep 26, 2013 - 4:55AM

    The federal govt and other provinces need to step up.

    International assistance maybe more difficult to get, considering how stretched resources are elsewhere globally due to other conflicts and climate change…and perhaps partly the nation’s reputation with recent events may make it a bit more difficult to overcome to garner greater aid from outside…either ways help is needs to get there to overcome the devastation quickly, hopefully the tragic casualties staying as low as they are.

    Recommend

  • optimist
    Sep 26, 2013 - 5:22AM

    Pakistanis are beautiful people. Smile on the faces of those kids give me hope.
    .
    No earthquake has or will shatter our spirit. We overcame worse things in the past. Long Live Pakistan!

    Recommend

  • YaLala
    Sep 26, 2013 - 12:45PM

    Let us praise Allah for the new island it has created out of water. We pray this island grow and create more space for Pakistan. Allahuakhbar.

    Recommend

  • Sharad Pant
    Sep 26, 2013 - 4:25PM

    May Allah Almighty be merciful on all of affected families and people who caught in this natural calamity. As most of death is occurred because of Kahha houses. I hope Balochistan Government will look after this issue very seriously and will promote earthquake proof safe housing construction in the region.

    Regards.

    Sharad Pant
    INDIA

    Recommend

  • Sep 26, 2013 - 10:26PM

    with the hope of new determination and courage the baloch people have to face this challenge. May almighty Allah be merciful all those who victimized this natural disaster. The New Provincial Government of Dr, Malik must be take all action to provide releaf, rehabilitation and first aid imminently. we also request to NDMA, PDMA, Disaster management NGOs to take all measure to support the affacties.

    Regards
    SHABIR MUGHALZAI
    Kalat Baluchistan.
    cell No. 03013733141

    Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2013 - 8:33PM

    The so called world organization should rise up and something to assist people in that region,so that they will have sense of belonging.Recommend

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