Massive aftershock rattles Balochistan, killing 15

AP, QUETTA, Pakistan

Mon, Sep 30, 2013 - Page 4

A major earthquake rocked Pakistan’s southwest on Saturday, killing at least 15 and sending panicked people running into the street just days after another quake in the same region killed hundreds, officials said.

The US Geological Survey said on its Web site that a magnitude 6.8 quake was felt in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan Province.

Pakistan’s Meteorological Department measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.2, saying its epicenter was about 150km west of the town of Khuzdar.

Balochistan government spokesman Jan Mohammad Buledi said those killed on Saturday died in the Mushkay area of Awaran District, adding that the death toll from Tuesday’s disaster was 359.

Little may have been left to damage after Tuesday’s disaster. Few of the mud and homemade brick houses in the area survived the magnitude 7.7 quake that leveled villages and buried people in the rubble. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been sleeping under the open sky or in tents.

Chief Pakistani meteorologist Arif Mahmood told Pakistani television that Saturday’s earthquake was an aftershock and such tremors could continue for weeks.

Pakistani television showed people at the main hospital in Awaran fleeing into the street. In the provincial capital of Quetta, the tremor was so strong it prompted members of the local parliament to evacuate the building.