Powerful quake strikes off Pakistan coast

Powerful quake strikes off Pakistan coast

A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Pakistan's Balochistan province today, but there were no reports of casualties.

According to the meteorological department, the quake struck at 3:04 AM (local time), with the epicentre 23-km southwest of the coastal town of Pasni at a depth of 10-km.

Officials said that so far no losses have been reported from the area, but they were assessing the situation.

"The epicentre of the quake was 90 kilometres south of the town of Turbat which is just off the coast and the depth was just below the seabed," an official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department said.

The tremor was felt in the strategic port of Gwadar, where China has invested heavily in developing a port linked to the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as well as Makran and Pasni areas of Balochistan.

The quake struck Pakistan, just two days after a moderate intensity earthquake measuring 5.8 on Richter Scale hit north India, tremors of which were felt in Delhi, followed by another quake yesterday measuring 3.6 in Uttarakhand.

Earlier, Reema Zuberi of National Disaster Management Authority had confirmed quake of 6.6 magnitude.

Dawn reported that Commissioner of Makran Division Bashir Bangulzai said that a complete survey of the Makran division had been conducted and no damage or casualties were found.

Tufail Baloch, Deputy Commissioner Gwadar confirmed that no damage occurred in Gwadar either. The Sindh commissioner has been sent to Pasni to survey the area.

Pakistan straddles between the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is located on the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone, which is roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front, which makes this region highly susceptible to earthquakes.

The region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. The country has suffered several earthquakes in recent years.

Geological experts have said Pakistan's coastal areas in Balochistan and Sindh are in a seismically active area and in 2013 two quakes killed more than 1200 people in Balochistan.

One of the worst earthquakes to hit the country in recent years was in October, 2005, which killed over 74,000 people, mostly in the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) area.

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