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Homes damaged after Pakistan earthquake

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Pakistan rocked by earthquake
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mud-walled houses near epicenter were damaged
  • USGS cites a magnitude of 7.2
  • The quake occurred 640 miles west-southwest of Islamabad
  • It caused glass to break in a hotel in Quetta

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Some 200 houses were damaged in a southwestern province of Pakistan after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Wednesday, officials said.

The mud-walled houses were damaged in districts close to the epicenter, said Ahmed Kamal, spokesman for the country's National Disaster Management Authority. Hundreds of tents, blankets and ready-to-eat meals were sent to the affected area, he said.

The earthquake occurred at 1:23 a.m. Wednesday (3:23 p.m. Tuesday ET) at a depth of 84 kilometers (52 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was centered 45 kilometers (30 miles) west of Dalbandin, and 1,035 kilometers (640 miles) west-southwest of Islamabad, the USGS said on its website.

There were no reports of injuries or deaths, Kamal said.

7.4 earthquake hits Pakistan
Quake rocks remote area in Pakistan
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The United States, China and Australia had offered aid to Pakistan, but it had not been initially accepted, Kamal said.

"The offer was appreciated but not accepted because its not required yet," he said.

Arif Mahmood, director of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, put the epicenter at 320 kilometers (about 200 miles) southwest of Quetta near Kharan, Balochistan, and said it had been felt in Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan provinces in Pakistan, as well as parts of Iran and India.

Mahmood predicted major aftershocks. "Earthquakes with such magnitudes in the past have brought on aftershocks," he told CNN from Islamabad.

An official at Quetta's Civil Hospital said a female cardiac patient suffered a fatal heart attack during the earthquake. He said two residents raced to the hospital but they proved not to have been injured, just scared.

Malik Muhammad Iqbal, the police chief of Balochistan province, said he was aware of no injuries.

"Things in the headquarters started shaking and books fell off the desks," Balochistan Police Inspector Sultan Mehmood told CNN in a telephone interview. "We left the headquarters running into the streets -- scared for our lives."

In Karachi, Faraz Leghari, director general police, said he had heard no immediate reports of casualties or building damage.

USGS initially reported the quake at 7.4. Quakes of 7.0 to 7.9 are classified as major; anything over 8.0 is classified as great.

In Dubai, about 500 miles southwest of the epicenter, a reporter said he felt a moderate shaking that lasted for about 30 seconds.

Usman Zahid, a night manager at Serina Hotel in Quetta, Pakistan, felt the quake. He said it was "frightening" and estimated that it lasted about 20 seconds. It left "broken glass in the kitchen" and made a chandelier swing, but caused no major damage, he said.

People with Twitter accounts in New Delhi, Jaipur and Dehradun -- all in India -- felt the quake. People with Twitter accounts in Bahrain said they felt the quake.

In Dubai, "I was just getting ready to go to bed," said Leone Lakhani. She said she texted her friends in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

"It's not uncommon for this region to have earthquakes," said Kurt Frankel of the Georgia Institute of Technology. It is where two tectonic plates come together, he said.

CNN's Aliza Kassim, Reza Sayah and Journalist Nasir Habib in Islamabad contributed to this story.