THOUSANDS of people are homeless in south-western Pakistan following a massive earthquake centred deep in neighbouring Iran that killed at least 36 people and toppled scores of mud-brick homes.
The Pakistani army has deployed several hundred soldiers to help the relief effort in Mashkel, the area of Baluchistan province hit hardest by Tuesday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake – nearly all the homes were destroyed. But many residents said they were unhappy with the government’s response.
“I appeal to the government. I appeal to the international community to help us with food, medicine, tents and blankets,” Syed Mureed Shah, one of the top officials in surrounding Washak district, said. “Come and see with your own eyes the damage caused by the earthquake.”
At least 35 people were killed and 150 injured in Pakistan, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority. Iran’s main state TV channel said yesterday that only one person was killed in Iran and that 12 people were injured.
An estimated 700 houses were reported damaged in Mashkel and more remote areas were still being assessed, the disaster management agency said.
But Mr Shah said more than 3,000 homes were destroyed in the district, leaving about 19,000 people without shelter. He complained that he had only received about 60 tents from the provincial government.