6.4 Earthquake Strikes Pakistan

A powerful earthquake has struck southwest Pakistan, killing at least 150 people:

ZIARAT, Pakistan — A strong earthquake struck before dawn Wednesday in impoverished southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and turning mud and timber homes into rubble.

An estimated 15,000 people were left homeless, and rescuers were digging for survivors in a remote valley in Baluchistan, the remote province bordering Afghanistan where the magnitude 6.4 quake struck.

Officials said they were distributing thousands of tents, blankets and food packages and sending in earth-moving equipment to dig mass graves. Many of those who survived were left with little more than the clothes they had slept in, and with winter approaching, temperatures were expected to drop to around freezing in coming nights.

Worst-hit was the former British hilltop resort of Ziarat and about eight surrounding villages, where hundreds of houses were destroyed, including some buried in landslides triggered by the quake.

“There is great destruction,” said Ziarat Mayor Dilawar Kakar. “Not a single house is intact.”

Baluchistan, the area in which the earthquake took place has been engaged in a low level of insurgency against the central government in Islamabad for years. There was a terrorist incident there just a couple of days ago. The present Pakistani government is holding on by its fingernails and its response to the earthquake will probably be phlegmatic, which is, unfortunately, probably as much as it can manage. That probably won’t further ingratiate them with the Baluchis.

Map courtesy of ReliefWeb

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    That probably won’t further ingratiate them with the Baluchis.

    Given who we’re talking about, nor would a more complete response, even assuming one could be managed. It’s cold, but there it is.

  2. Anderson says:

    Maybe the roof of Osama’s cave fell in on him, and the earthquake accomplished what George W. Bush could not.

  3. Triumph says:

    That probably won’t further ingratiate them with the Baluchis.

    Given how crappy “According to Jim” was, I don’t think Baluchi is in any place to demand respect from anyone.

    Now if John were still alive, the Baluchis would get a lot more sympathy.

  4. Grewgills says:

    I can’t find any info on the epicenter, depth, or duration. It must have been long and/or shallow for a 6.3 to cause that much damage.

    I have ridden out several about that strength in coffee shacks that suffered no visible damage to the structure.

  5. Brett says:

    Pakistan just can’t seem to get a break, can it? This on top of all the economic crap they are going through.

  6. Michael says:

    Maybe the roof of Osama’s cave fell in on him, and the earthquake accomplished what George W. Bush could not.

    I can only hope that newspapers around the world run the headline: “Allah kills Bin Laden”.

    I have ridden out several about that strength in coffee shacks that suffered no visible damage to the structure.

    I’m guessing that your coffee shop probably has more structural support than every building in Baluchistan, combined.

  7. Bithead says:

    I’m guessing that your coffee shop probably has more structural support than every building in Baluchistan, combined.

    Now, certainly.But then again, what can be expected when they willingly restrict themselves to the 14th century?

  8. Michael says:

    But then again, what can be expected when they willingly restrict themselves to the 14th century?

    If I had to guess, I’d say you could expect at least 150 deaths from a moderately severe earthquake. But I could be wrong.

  9. Grewgills says:

    I’m guessing that your coffee shop probably has more structural support than every building in Baluchistan, combined.

    Coffee shack,not coffee shop. This was when I was living in HI and much of the private construction there is not built to any code (a bunch of hippies and locals building their own homes in the forest/jungle using lots of scrap lumber). All were pillar and post designs with corrugated tin and fiberglass roofing, a couple of them did have some real glass windows rather than just screens, most had indoor plumbing but catchment rather than county water. These rather rickety looking structures and many other similar structures around them survived many 3.3 – 6.4 earthquakes with epicenters between 10 and 50 miles away. Most of those were relatively short though (3-15 seconds) but some were longer. One of them knocked me out of bed and took out most of the hanging art, but that was as bad as it got.

    The quake must have been very close and/or very long to cause the damage it did.