Earthquake Strikes Pakistan

An earthquake that measured 7.7 on the Richter scale struck south-west Pakistan on September 24. An estimated more than 500 people were killed, hundreds more injured, and over 100,000 left homeless by the quake. Aftershocks continued for several days as another related quake, measuring 6.8, killed 15 more on September 28.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Awaran district in the province of Balochistan, a mainly rural area that is Pakistan’s largest but least-populated province. Many homes in the area, constructed only of mud bricks, were destroyed by the quake — an estimated 21,000 total, including nearly 80 percent of all houses in the Awaran district. The U.S. Geological Survey’s PAGER gave estimates on the day of the earthquake that there is a 35% chance the total cost of damages would be in the $100 million to $1 billion range.

The shock was so great that it was felt throughout major cities in Pakistan and as far east as Delhi, India, where it was reported that some buildings shook, and as far west as the United Arab Emirates.

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