Earthquake in Pakistan Kills 45, Creates New Island
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck western Pakistan on Tuesday. The quake in the Baluchistan province, which borders Iran, was felt as far away as New Delhi, hundreds of miles to the east.
The earthquake was so strong that it led to the creation of a small new island 600 meters off the Pakistani coast.
At least 45 people were killed in the quake. Most of the victims died when their homes collapsed around them.
Officials said that many of the homes in the remote, mountainous region of Baluchistan that was hardest hit are made of mud and other weak materials, and a significant percent were destroyed by the quake or its aftershocks.
Reports of damage are still coming in. Officials expect a full assessment of the damage to take some time due to the remote nature of towns in the area.
"We have received reports that many homes in Awaran district have collapsed. We fear many deaths," Jan Muhammad Baledi, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government, said on the ARY news channel, AFP reports.
"There are not many doctors in the area but we are trying to provide maximum facilities in the affected areas."
The US Geological Survey has issued a red alert, warning that heavy casualties are likely based on past data.