Pakistan earthquake region struck again

Baluchistan province is hit again after Pakistan's southwest was left devastated by 7.7 magnitude quake less than a week ago

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The Independent Online

A second earthquake has rocked Pakistan's southwest today in the same region where an earthquake killed 359 people earlier this week.

The US Geological Survey measured the magnitude of the quake at 6.8. Pakistan's Meteorological Department put the scale of the tremor even higher, measuring the earthquake at 7.2 in magnitude.

The department said its epicenter was located about 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of the town of Khuzdar in the Baluchistan province.

No casualties have been reported, which authorities say could be attributed to the fact there could have been little left to damage following Tuesday's 7.7 magnitude quake. Few mud and brick houses survived the disaster and many villagers were buried under the rubble.

The aftershock struck about 30 kilometers (18 miles) to the south-southwest of Tuesday's epicenter.

Abdur Rasheed, deputy commissioner of the Awaran district said the thousands who lost their home have been forced to sleep outside or in tents.

Mr Rasheed said authorities were now investigating reports that some residents may have returned to partially damaged homes, which were hit again by today's earthquake.

Chief Pakistani meteorologist Arif Mahmood told Pakistani television that it was an aftershock from this week's earthquake and such tremors might continue for weeks.

Pakistan television showed people at the main hospital in Awaran district fleeing into the street. In the provincial capital of Quetta, the tremor was so strong it prompted members of the local parliament to evacuate the building.

Baluchistan is one of Pakistan's largest but least populous province. The rough terrain and dangerous roads have made it difficult for rescue staff to reach survivors trapped in the rubble. The Pakistani Air Force has been making air drops of supplies and using helicopters to ferry injured people to medical care.

Additional reporting by agencies