KHUZDAR: The death toll from a massive earthquake that jolted southwest Pakistan rose to 348 on Wednesday, with officials saying that thousands have been left homeless and about 300,000 people had been affected in remote parts of Balochistan province.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon in the province, toppling thousands of mud-built homes as it spread havoc through Awaran and Kech districts and the southwestern parts of the country.

“At least 348 people have been confirmed dead and 513 others injured,”Abdul Latif Kakar, the head of Baluchistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), told AFP.

“Only in Awaran district, we have confirmed the death of 305 people, while we have received information about 43 dead from the other worst affected district, Kech,” he said.

National disaster agency officials and local authorities confirmed the toll.

However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said it would use its own available resources for the rescue and relief, despite offers for help by the United Nations agencies, international donors and some countries.

“We have enough resources to cope with the situation that has emerged after the earthquake in Awaran and Kech, although international donors and some friendly countries have also offered their cooperation,” NDMA Chairman Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem said.

He said the NDMA’s relief goods stock in Karachi had been transported to the two districts and was being distributed among the affected people through the army, Frontier Corps and local administration.

Pakistan’s military on Wednesday rushed to reach the scene of the earthquake to launch a relief operation in the affected areas. see more

source:  dawn