At least 327 dead after earthquake in Pakistan

Wednesday 25 September 2013 22.47
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Child survivors are treated in makeshift hospital in Awaran
Child survivors are treated in makeshift hospital in Awaran
Rescue teams found it hard to reach the remote location quickly
Rescue teams found it hard to reach the remote location quickly
The earthquake destroyed houses and cut communications in Awaran
The earthquake destroyed houses and cut communications in Awaran
Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to help with the recovery efforts
Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to help with the recovery efforts
Officials fear the death toll could increase once emergency workers reach more remote villages to assess the damage
Officials fear the death toll could increase once emergency workers reach more remote villages to assess the damage
Hundreds of homes were destroyed
Hundreds of homes were destroyed
Survivors search through the wreckage for their belongings
Survivors search through the wreckage for their belongings
Villagers take shade under a tree after their houses were destroyed
Villagers take shade under a tree after their houses were destroyed
Survivors gather around the debris of their destroyed houses
Survivors gather around the debris of their destroyed houses
A man recovers some items from the debris
A man recovers some items from the debris
Patients wait for treatment for injuries sustained in the tremor
Patients wait for treatment for injuries sustained in the tremor
Men try to dig out a car from the rubble of destroyed buildings
Men try to dig out a car from the rubble of destroyed buildings

The death toll from a powerful earthquake in southwest Pakistan rose to 327 today after hundreds of mud houses collapsed on residents throughout the remote area.

Pakistan's army airlifted hundreds of soldiers to help with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in the country since 2005, when about 75,000 people were killed.

The earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck Baluchistan, a huge earthquake-prone province of deserts and rugged mountains, and was felt across South Asia.

It destroyed houses and cut communications with the worst-affected district of Awaran.

It was so powerful it caused a small island to emerge from the Arabian Sea, just off the Pakistani coast.

Rescue teams found it hard to reach the remote location quickly, and some officials said the death toll was likely to rise as emergency workers fanned further into the mountains to assess the damage.

Witnesses described scenes of grief and chaos in villages as row after row of houses were flattened.

To the south, on the beach near Gwadar port, crowds of residents gathered to witness the rare phenomenon of an island that the quake thrust up out of the sea.

The island would not survive long because sea waves would eventually break it down, a National Disaster Management Authority spokesman said.

"This is not a permanent structure, just a body of mud," he added. "It will disappear over time."