Skip to main content

Pakistan quake death toll rises to 356

From Sophia Saifi, for CNN
September 26, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan. A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan.
HIDE CAPTION
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two rockets are fired at a military helicopter taking officials to the quake zone
  • More than 600 people have been injured by the powerful quake, a local official says
  • Survivors are having to cope with high temperatures and a lack of drinking water
  • Authorities say about 21,000 houses have been destroyed

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The death toll from the strong earthquake that struck southwestern Pakistan this week has risen to 356 as rescue workers struggle to reach victims, authorities said Thursday.

Further complicating relief efforts, two rockets were fired at -- and missed -- a military helicopter on its way to the quake zone.

The number of people injured has climbed to 619, said Jan Muhammad Buledi, a spokesman for the government of Balochistan, the province where the quake hit. Authorities estimate that 21,000 houses have been destroyed.

The 7.7-magnitude earthquake took place Tuesday in a remote, sparsely populated area of Balochistan. Rescue efforts are under way in the heavily hit districts of Awaran and Kech.

Hundreds killed in Pakistan earthquake
Did quake cause island to appear?

Images from the scene have shown buildings reduced to rubble. More people are feared to be trapped under the wreckage, authorities say, suggesting the death toll could rise.

The remoteness of the affected area and damaged communications networks are hindering the rescue operation.

Officials say some areas remain inaccessible, preventing them from getting a full picture of the scale of the damage.

Meanwhile, thousands of survivors in need of assistance after the quake are having to cope with high temperatures, a lack of drinking water and little in the way of shelter.

October is the hottest month in Balochistan and the region is in a perpetual state of drought, said Muhammad Hanif, the director of the National Weather Forecasting Center. Temperatures in Awaran and Kech have reached 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit).

Helicopter attacked

The Pakistani military has deployed more than 1,000 troops to help with rescue and relief efforts

The troops are entering a difficult region. Militants fighting for a separate state in Balochistan operate out of part of Awaran district, which has been the site of bombings.

The potential threat was underlined Thursday when two rockets were fired at an army helicopter ferrying the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority to the earthquake zone, a military official said.

The rockets missed the helicopter as it flew over the narrow Mashki Valley on its way to Awaran, said Brig. Muhammad Abdur Raheem, an army spokesman in Balochistan.

The helicopter was carrying Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem, the National Disaster Management Authority chairman, as well as staff officers and two members of the local news media, Raheem said. All those who were aboard are safe, he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the failed attack.

Pakistani officials have said the quake was powerful enough to cause the appearance of a small mud island a few kilometers off the country's coast in the Arabian Sea. But some overseas scientists have questioned whether the island was the direct result of the earthquake.

Measuring the magnitude of earthquakes

CNN's Saima Mohsin in Islamabad contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT