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Magnitude 7.7 Earthquake Kills Hundreds in Southeastern Pakistan

Mud houses collapsed in Awaran during Balochistan earthquake. Photo by Sangar Publication (Shared with permission)

Mud houses collapsed in Awaran during Balochistan earthquake. Photo by Sangar Publication (Shared with permission)

More than 327 people have been killed following a powerful earthquake that struck south-west Pakistan on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. The epicentre of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake was 120 kilometres southwest of Khuzdar in Balochistan Province at a depth of 10 kilometres. Provincial authorities in Balochistan declared an emergency in Awaran District.

The News reported another hundred people have been reported injured. The Baloch Hal, a local online newspaper, published a number of early pictures of the devastation. On the Gwadar coastline, the quake created a small island about half a mile into the sea near an area called ‘Jhanda’, according to Express Tribune.

Tremors reached as far as northern India, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Pakistan Army Medical Squad leaves for Balochistan to treat with earthquake affected of Awaran at Malir Cantt in Karachi. Image by ppiimages. Copyright Demotix (25/9/2013)

Pakistan Army Medical Squad leaves for Balochistan to treat with earthquake affected of Awaran at Malir Cantt in Karachi. Image by ppiimages. Copyright Demotix (25/9/2013)

Director General Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR), a directorate under ministry of defense, Major General Asim Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) tweeted that 300 soldiers are already in the area, with the number expected to rise to 1000 by tomorrow morning. Khuzdar would be used as base for the rescue effort.

A tweet from Jihandad Baloch (@BalochTawar) regrading Director General ISPR, Major General Asim Bajwa's tweet.

Balochs are sharing photos, updates and reports with the hash-tag #BalochistanEarthquake. Many users like PIRDHAN (@PIRDHAN_BALOCH), Chawash Baloch (Chawash_Baloch) and others are sharing latest photos on Twitter:

Baloch social media activists are demanding demanded international aid for the Baloch nation. Well-known Baloch social media activist Bahoot Baloch (@NaqeeboBaloch) shared appeal of Baloch National Front (BNF) towards international community:

Jihandad Baloch (@BalochTwar) also appealed to international aid agencies for direct intervention in Balochistan:

Famous Baloch tweep The Baloch (@BalaachMarri) made an appeal of food and shelters for victims. Cyber journalist Khalid Khan (@khalidkhan787) replied to him asking the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) to give space to relief teams:

Top Pakistani journalist and host of Geo TV's Capital Talk Hamid Mir (@HamidMirGEO) shared shocking news through his tweet:

Leading organization of Awaran, the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), welcomes aid agencies, NGOs and international rescue teams to carry out relief work in effected areas, reports Saam Baloch (@SaamZad):

Meanwhile, the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) warned through BBC Urdu that if the Pakistan army made any doubtful activity in affected areas, the group would strike at them. Remember that BLF is a separatist militant group in Balochistan, demanding the freedom of Balochistan from Pakistan.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs offered Pakistan government for help in ongoing rescue operation.

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners stand ready to support the Government’s ongoing relief effort for the people affected by the earthquake and mobilize any international support, if requested.

Balochs created a ‘Baloch Welfare Committee’ for quake victims. Hakeem Wadhela (@HakeemWadhela), an activist of the Baloch Freedom Movement and ex-Joint Secretary of the Balochistan National Movement (BNM) Karachi region, shared a banner on Twitter to support the Baloch Welfare Committee. Hennah Baloch (@Hennah_Baloch) shared the poster:

Amid all of these, some Pakistani netizens started a campaign under the hashtag #PossibleNamesOfNewIsland to think of a name for the island that the earthquake created, as Express Tribune reports.

More tweets and reactions from #BalochistanEarthquake.

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