Quetta, October 29 — A strong earthquake hitting Quetta in the early morning hours killed about 160 people and injured many more. Reports indicate that no Hazaras have lost their lives, although a few have been injured.
The quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale, hit Quetta at around 4 am, followed by a stronger aftershock one hour later. A third, much stronger aftershock hit around 5 pm. People rushed out of their homes in panic. Lack of electricity in some parts caused problems as people struggled to see their way in the early morning hours.
Severe aerial firing was reported immediately following the earthquake. Several people have been slightly injured after being hit by shrapnel and empty bullet shells. Two of those injured are from Hazara Town.
There are reports of damages to several houses in the Shuja Abad and New Hazara Town areas. Damages to the setup of homes and shops were reported as items were displaced and moved by the tremors.
People have now returned to their houses after staying out for several hours in the cold after the initial quake. There is a climate of fear among people, especially women and children, as more tremors are expected.
Schools and businesses are now operating as normal. After a one-hour outage in Hazara Town at the time of the quake, electricity service has been restored to normal.
Some people offered special namaz after the earthquake hit, praying for God’s mercy and the safety of all affected.
The epicenter of the earquake was around 60 kilometers to the southwest of Quetta. The worst affected area is Ziarat, where landslide triggered by the earthquake buried many houses and killed hundreds, injuring many more. Death toll is expected to rise.