The death toll in the earthquake that struck Pakistan’s southwest province of Baluchistan on Tuesday afternoon has risen to at least 250, BBC reported, and many are still believed to be trapped under the debris of collapsed buildings.
At least 340 people have been injured in the quake, which flattened many houses in Awaran, the area most affected by the tremor. Officials believe most of the victims were killed when their houses collapsed. Rescue operations are underway in the affected areas in Baluchistan -- Pakistan’s largest province -- which is also its most sparsely populated.
“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals," Jan Bulaidi, Baluchistan government spokesman, told BBC, adding that those who were seriously injured were airlifted to hospitals in Karachi. A number of injured were also sent to Quetta, the capital city of Baluchistan province. Tremors of the 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the region were also felt in India’s capital of New Delhi, which is about 740 miles away.
The Pakistani military was the first to respond to the crisis and Associated Press reported that almost 1,000 troops were immediately sent to the affected areas to aid rescue operations. A convoy of 60 Pakistani army trucks left Karachi early Wednesday carrying supplies for survivors.
And, local officials told AP on Tuesday that about 1,000 tents for survivors were being set up, in addition to making food and medical facilities available to the affected.