Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Massive earthquake hits Pakistan

Pakistani residents praying outside their homes after a severe earthquake hit the south-west of the country (AP)
A Pakistani woman comforts a man who was shocked after a severe earthquake hit the south west (AP)

A major earthquake has struck a remote area in south-western Pakistan.

The United States Geological Survey reported that it measured 7.4 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake struck at 1:30 am local time on Wednesday in Baluchistan province near the border with Afghanistan.

Local TV reports said the earthquake was felt in several provinces in the country.

The quake was centred in Baluchistan province, the country's most sparsely populated area. It happened at a depth of some 50 miles.

Its exact epicentre was in a remote area some 200 miles south-west of the Baluchistan capital of Quetta, said chief Pakistani meteorologist Arif Mahmood.

Local TV reports said the quake was felt throughout several provinces. Many residents in the country's largest city, Karachi, ran out into the streets once the quake started.

There were no immediate reports of damage, said Mr Mahmood. But quakes of this strength can cause widespread destruction.

Tremors lasting at least 20 seconds were also felt as far away as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in India's capital, New Delhi.

Earthquakes often rattle the region. A magnitude 7.6 quake on October 8, 2005, killed about 80,000 people in north-western Pakistan and Kashmir and left more than three million homeless.

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