Major 7.2 earthquake hits SW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked a remote area of southwestern Pakistan early Wednesday, shaking many parts of the country and causing tremors as far away as India and the United Arab Emirates.

The quake was centered in Baluchistan province, the country's most sparsely populated area, said the United States Geological Service, occurring at 1:30 a.m. local time at a depth of some 50 miles (84 kilometers.

Its epicenter was in a remote area some 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of the Baluchistan capital of Quetta, said chief Pakistani meteorologist Arif Mahmood, not far from the Afghan border.

The closest town to the epicenter was Dalbandin, with a population around 15,000 people, and is so remote that the nearby Chagai hills were the site of Pakistan's 1998 nuclear tests.

There was no word on damage in Dalbandin. But another town close to the epicenter, Karan, suffered no major damage, said Fateh Bangar, Karan's deputy commissioner. The town was some 45 miles (70 kilometers) from the epicenter, he said.

Nasir Baluch, a police officer in Karan, said several mud houses collapsed or were damaged in an area outside the town called Mashkil. There was no immediate word on casualties, but the area is sparsely populated, he said.

There was no major damage in Quetta either, but the quake caused widespread panic in the city, said residents.

Local TV reports said the quake was felt throughout several other provinces as well. Many residents in the country's largest city, Karachi, ran out into the streets once the quake started, said the reports.

Karachi resident Mohammad Zubair said he was watching a cricket match on TV when his bed began to shake.

"I jumped out of bed realizing it was an earthquake," said the 28-year-old. "My mom started reciting verses from the Quran, and we rushed outside."

Tremors lasting at least 20 seconds were also felt as far away as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in India's capital, New Delhi.

Earthquakes often rattle the region. A magnitude 7.6 quake on Oct. 8, 2005, killed about 80,000 people in northwestern Pakistan and Kashmir and left more than 3 million homeless.

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Associated Press writer Ashraf Khan contributed to this report from Karachi.

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1,325 Comments

  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Gatekeeper1179 Thu Jan 20, 2011 03:44 pm PST Report Abuse
    Guess the Indian Hindus did take over the comment site after all. I couldn't possibly think America was that harsh and ruthless. We have more of a conscience than that. The Indians are portraying themselves as Americans, MANY Hindus with multiple false names and profiles. They are bashing Americans and Muslims alike. Just an FYI. Beware of them and did you know they LOVE to drink milk with their slabs of raw beef? Yum Yum!
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    iBARK Thu Jan 20, 2011 01:32 pm PST Report Abuse
    200 mud-brick homes damaged, huh? That's like $2000 costs by this earthquake. God had mercy on the Pakistani Taliban; no major after shocks. Too bad!
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Gatekeeper1179 Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:37 pm PST Report Abuse
    Guess the Indian Hindus did take over the comment site after all. I couldn't possibly think America was that harsh and ruthless. We have more of a conscience than that. The Indians are portraying themselves as Americans, MANY Hindus with multiple false names and profiles. They are bashing Americans and Muslims alike. Just an FYI. Beware.
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    Gatekeeper1179 Wed Jan 19, 2011 08:54 pm PST Report Abuse
    Guess the Indian Hindus did take over the comment site after all. I couldn't possibly think America was that harsh and ruthless. We have more of a conscience than that. The Indians are portraying themselves as Americans, MANY Hindus with multiple false names and profiles. They are bashing Americans and Muslims alike. Just an FYI. Beware.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    sanjay chow Wed Jan 19, 2011 08:43 pm PST Report Abuse
    PUCK FAKISTAN !!!
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    Gatekeeper1179 Wed Jan 19, 2011 08:19 pm PST Report Abuse
    @SAMUNNY~Is that right? Actually read the Quran and Hadiths... Where in the world did you get your info? Definately wasnt from Islam.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    michael Wed Jan 19, 2011 07:30 pm PST Report Abuse
    What really cause the quake was a paki jaking off a pig
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 5 users disliked this comment
    Gatekeeper1179 Wed Jan 19, 2011 07:18 pm PST Report Abuse
    I see that there are many people on here that are nearly equivilant to what they accuse all muslims and people of the middle eastern to be....terrorists. So much ignorance, and blind consciences and hate. You accuse what you know NOTHING about, but yet, you are on the level of being terrorists yourselves.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Fayaz-Bin-Qasim Wed Jan 19, 2011 05:55 pm PST Report Abuse
    Repost! I’ve lived in Pakistan on contract with the state department (US Embassy). The same hospitable shopkeepers that offer you drinks in their shops (they know Americans have got the money) will be carrying “death to America” play cards in a rally next day (newspaper photo) and then the next time you go to the same shop, they ask you to sponsor them for their visa to USA or help them get a job AT the US Embassy. This translates well onto their national level – They help North Korea with their nuclear program and then blame it on the top nuclear guy Abdul Qadeer Khan and then the president Musharaf pardons him and says to USA “oops… sorry”. It’s the Pakis preventing us from winning the war in Afghanistan – they want to get rich of this war. O! They secretly support Taliban while playing friends to USA. They only kill the Taliban who turn against them. Heck! They even break deals with them like “Hey if you stop killing Pakis then we will help you kill American soldiers in your land”. Pakistan has enough money for the huge Army and from its gold, coal and salt mines yet it keeps that money for Army and politicians to get fat on - otherwise if they shared that with their public - then who would believe their begging. Some US officials have fallen for the Paki 2 faced tactics - hence are very fond of the Pakis! All I can say to you is, as a westerner the only way to find out the true face of Pakis, or the country is to learn the local language first. Then hang out with them “without letting them know that you know their language". You’d be surprised what they say in Urdu, right in front of you, about you and America - but in English it’s all “yes sir! I love America “sahib” (i.e. sir)”! Specially the Embassy local staff and servants of the diplomats – I found out so much about them by not letting them know I knew their language (eat at the Embassy local employee café)! Pakistan’s Ministry for Religious Affairs has this Qur’anic verse written on its plaques “Islam is the only religion acceptable to Allah”. USA should only give visas to minorities of Pakis - they are so violently persecuted that they see death in a sectarian terrorist attack, as a blessing that frees them from their misery! Pakistan blows not because of its poverty, corruption or illiteracy - it’s all because its full of (2 faced) "Hate" - for each other & for all infidels. Pakistan is a true epitome of "a 2 faced enemy disguised as a friendly beggar". All of the above can easily be applied to all Muslim countries. They are all the same; Pakis are just the current Champions!
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    KSM Wed Jan 19, 2011 01:38 pm PST Report Abuse
    I had to laugh at the picture of what I thought was a Pakistani seismometer. A man stands next to a spinning paper drum while he holds a pen, and if the man shakes, it shows up as an earthquake.

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