Second quake hits Pakistan province
A second earthquake in the space of week has struck struck the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan.
The latest earthquake measured 6.8 in magnitude, and occurred about 96km northeast of the city of Awaran, the USGS said on Saturday. Hundreds have already died and thousands more have been affected by the Tuesday’s 7.7 magnitude tremor.
The quake occurred at a depth of 14.8km while the epicentres of the two tremors were about 30km apart, according to USGS data.
"It was not an aftershock it was an independent earthquake," Zahid Rafi, director of the National Seismic Centre of Pakistan, told local news television station Geo TV.
Initial reports have said that severa districts have been affected by the quake but no deaths have been reported yet, although that is likely to change.
At least 359 people were killed, and another 765 injured, when Tuesday's earthquake struck the impoverished region of southwestern Pakistan, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority's official figures. Unofficial estimates put the number of dead at more than 500.
The government says that more than 185,000 people have been affected by the tremor, and that rescue and relief activities are being undertaken by the civil administration in conjunction with the army.
The population of Awaran district is scattered over more than 21,000 square kilometres of remote and rugged terrain, where infrastructure is limited, with few medical facilities or even roads.
The government says that it has delivered more than 11,800 tents to survivors, and that several medical teams are now operating in the area.
Rescue efforts have been hampered both by the remoteness of the area, and by attacks allegedly carried out by separatist Baloch rebels against army convoys carrying the aid.
Rebels have been fighting the Pakistani state in Balochistan for decades, demanding greater rights for ethnic Baloch and alleging that the federal government does not adequately recompense Balochistan for its natural resources.