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Casualties mount in Pakistan quake

Story highlights

  • Tuesday's earthquake destroyed more than 150 homes
  • It was followed by at least two aftershocks
  • Doctors and food were being rushed to the area

The casualty count from an earthquake that struck near Pakistan's border with Iran stands at 35 dead and more than 150 injured, authorities said Wednesday.

The quake, measured at a 7.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck Tuesday in Balochistan province, destroying more than 150 mud houses.

Doctors and food were being rushed to the area Wednesday, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority said. Helicopters were picking up injured people and dropping food to affected areas.

To exacerbate the issue, two aftershocks rocked the area Wednesday morning, according to Shafiq Ahmed, of Pakistan's meteorological department. One was a 6.0-magnitude and the other was a 5.3-magnitude, Ahmed said.

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On the Iranian side, the quake injured at least a dozen people, authorities said Tuesday.

Powerful quake felt far away

The area where the earthquake struck is sparsely populated.

Carrieann Bedwell, a USGS seismologist, said a 7.8-magnitude quake was "a large event for any area" and could be expected to cause damage.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the Iranian city of Saravan, according to the Iranian Seismological Center.

In the Pakistani border city of Mashkell, one of the worst affected areas, hundreds of shops in the marketplace were damaged or destroyed, a witness said. Several buildings had collapsed.

The area, which receives electricity from Iran, was dark.

Aftershocks were felt in Mashkell Wednesday morning.

Residents in the city of Quetta, about 200 miles east-northeast of Mashkell, said the floor shook under their feet and light fixtures swayed when the quake struck.

Journalist Rabia Ali was among those to feel the quake in Karachi, Pakistan, hundreds of miles to the southeast.

"I was at home. I was in my bed, and the bed started moving for a good 15 seconds," she said. "We realized it was an earthquake, and we started evacuating. Everyone came out onto the street and started praying. The children were crying."