On Saturday at 12:34 p.m. (1304 IST), a 6.8 earthquake has struck southwest Pakistan, the second earthquake to hit the ravaged area in less than one week.
At least 12 people were killed in Saturday’s quake with the death toll rising, leaving an unknown number of people buried under the rubble. Eight of the 12 reported dead came from the Nokjo area, the other four from Mashkay.
At least 400 persons were killed in the earlier quake that struck Tuesday.
Saturday’s quake hit the remote area of the Awaran district, which is the poorest district in the southwest province. The force of the earthquake measured at a depth of 14 kilometers and could be felt as far away as the outer borders of Karachi.
Pakistani television reports the Nokjo area suffered damage where most of the village’s mud buildings have collapsed trapping people under the debris.
Communications have been hampered because of the devastation, but reports are coming in telling of severe damage to the area.
The US Geological Survey stated Saturday’s seismic activity measured 6.8 on the Richter scale and was an aftershock from Tuesday’s quake. However, the National Seismic Center of Pakistan corrected this report stating that Saturday’s earth movement was measured at a 7.2 magnitude and is deemed an independent earthquake which shook the area, not an after shock.
When Saturday’s tremor was felt, many of the injured hurt in Tuesday’s earthquake ran in panic from the hospital where they were being treated.
Reports reflect that Tuesday’s seismic event affected over 300,000 people, leveling many buildings in the area. Many of the survivors are currently taking sanction in outdoor tents or sleeping in open-air conditions.
Thousands of soldiers had already been deployed to the ravaged area prior to both earthquakes. Their presence in the area is because of a long running insurgency by Baloch rebel separatists.
Insurgent attacks on rescue convoys heading to Mashkay to aid with food and water supplies are threatening rescue efforts, making it difficult for aid workers to reach out and rescue survivors in the worst hit areas.
After Tuesday’s quake, 30,000 are still waiting for aid and almost certainly hoping the seismic activity ends.
Written by Lisa Graziano