Pakistan escapes major quake damage
QUETTA, Pakistan - A powerful earthquake in Pakistan that rocked buildings in India, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates damaged several hundred mud-brick homes close to the epicenter, but caused no casualties or other damage, officials said Wednesday.
The 7.2 magnitude quake struck at 1:30 a.m. local time Wednesday in a remote area some 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of the Baluchistan provincial capital of Quetta, not far from the Afghan border. It sent thousands running from their homes in panic.
Tremors were felt across much of south and central Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and the United Arab Emirates, according to residents.
The quake damaged some 200 homes in Dalbandin, a town of about 15,000 people located near the epicenter, said Nadeem Ahmed, chairman of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority. No casualties have been reported in the country so far, he said.
But authorities were still surveying remote areas of Baluchistan, said Saeed Jamali, deputy commissioner of Chaghi district, where Pakistan conducted its first nuclear tests in 1998.
In the hours after the quake, some Dalbandin residents were so terrified at the possibility of aftershocks that they sat outside in the cold darkness rather than re-enter their damaged homes, said police official Asad Ullah.
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