A huge earthquake hit southwest Pakistan Tuesday, killing at least 328 people, toppling scores of homes and sending people around the region rushing into the streets in panic.
Officials made the announcement early Wednesday after scores of mud houses collapsed in the mountainous Awaran district of Baluchistan province near the Iranian border. Rescue teams are still working in the area.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake of 7.8 magnitude struck about 230 kilometers southwest of Dalbandin in Pakistan\’s Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
Rescue teams have been dispatched to the affected areas and officials say the death toll is likely to rise. The dead include women and children.
Pakistan\’s Geo TV reports that tremors were felt in other parts of Pakistan and in some cities of neighboring India.
Officials said the tremor at 4:29 pm (1129 GMT) had demolished dozens of houses in Awaran, 350 kilometres (219 miles) southwest of the Baluchistan provincial capital Quetta. Its epicentre was 15 kilometres below ground.
The 7.6 magnitude quake in 2005 centred in Kashmir killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan.