QUETTA (AFP) – The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck a remote part of southwestern Pakistan jumped to 173 on Wednesday, officials said, as rescue teams rushed to the area.
The 7.7-magnitude quake hit the Awaran district of Baluchistan province on Tuesday afternoon, destroying scores of mud-built houses.
Abdul Latif Kakar, the head of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, gave AFP the new toll and said there were more than 300 people injured.
A top local administration official in Awaran, Abdul Rasheed Baluch, confirmed the new toll and said many more deaths were feared as response teams worked through the day.
“We have been busy in rescue efforts for the whole night and fear we will recover more dead bodies from under the rubble during the daylight,” he said.
“Around 90 percent of houses in the district have been destroyed. Almost all the mud houses have collapsed.”
Some of the dead have already been laid to rest in their villages, he added.