New 6.8-magnitude quake hits Pakistan

AFP-JIJI

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit southwest Pakistan on Saturday in a region already devastated by a quake which left more than 300 dead just days ago.

The new tremor struck 96 km northeast of the district of Awaran at a depth of 14 km soon after midday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“It was not an aftershock. It was an independent earthquake,” Zahid Rafi, director of the National Seismic Center of Pakistan, told Geo TV.

Awaran, a remote region in the province of Baluchistan, was shattered by a 7.7-magnitude quake Tuesday which left 359 dead and more than 100,000 people homeless.

A reporter in Awaran said Saturday that hundreds of patients being treated in the aftermath of the previous quake fled a hospital in panic as the new tremor hit.

“We are checking but no reports of losses have yet been received,” Jan Mohammad Buledi, spokesman for the provincial government of Baluchistan, said.

Arif Mehmood, Pakistan’s chief meteorologist, told television channel Express News that the magnitude of Saturday’s quake measured 7.2.