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Quake hits Pakistan, 160 killed

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 29, 2008 14:24 IST
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More than 160 people were killed, scores injured and around 15,000 left homeless as a powerful earthquake jolted southwestern Pakistan early today, destroying hundreds of mud houses and sending people scurrying onto the streets in panic.

The toll could rise higher as reports were still to trickle in from the affected remote areas of the province bordering Afghanistan.

Two temblors hit parts of Balochistan before dawn in quick succession when people were asleep. But while the first temblor was mild, the devastation was caused by the second temblor, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale.

The first temblor struck at 4:33 am and the second at 5:10 am.

The worst affected appeared to be Ziarat area where hundreds of houses of mostly mud and timbers were destroyed in five villages, which were hit by landslides triggered by the quake.

People rushed out of their homes in panic in the provincial capital Quetta as local residents fired shots in the area and mosques used their public address systems to wake up people who were sleeping.

 Provincial Revenue Minister Zamarruk Khan said 100 people had been killed by the quake and said Ziarat and Pishin districts, located close to the epicentre, were hit hardest by the quake where up to 500 houses were damaged or destroyed.

Sohail-ur-Rehman, the District Coordination Officer in Ziarat, put the number of dead in the area at 80. He said the toll was expected to rise as many people were buried under the debris of mud.

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