Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday directed Pakistan Army troops to provide assistance to the civil administration in providing relief to earthquake affectees in Balochistan, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
"Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has directed troops stationed at Balochistan to provide all out assistance to civil administration in rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts [to] help mitigate difficulties faced by affected population of earthquake hit areas of Balochistan," said the military's media wing.
On Thursday, a major rescue operation, involving army, levies, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and aid agencies, was launched to provide medical care to the victims, besides food and relief supplies to the stricken population.
An Urban Search and Rescue Team was also dispatched from Rawalpindi to assist in the rescue operation. The inspector general of the Frontier Corps Balochistan also reached Harnai and inspected the damage caused by the earthquake.
At least 20 people were killed and over 300 sustained injuries, some of them seriously, after a devastating earthquake in different parts of the province on Thursday knocked down scores of houses at a time when many victims were asleep, officials and medics in several districts confirmed.
According to Met department, a 5.9 earthquake struck at 3:01 am. The epicentre of the quake was near Harnai at a depth of 15 kilometres. The tremors were felt in Quetta, Sibi, Chaman, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Zhob, Loralai, Pishin, Muslim Bagh and other areas of the country.
Reports suggested that more than 70 houses collapsed, while several other buildings were damaged, forcing hundreds of people to come out in the open. Provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Langau said that most of the casualties were reported from Harnai district.
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