Pakistan, earthquake in Pakistan, Quetta earthquake
Arshad Butt/AP
Ziarat, Pakistan

Earthquake Hit Pakistan; Death Toll Rising

October 29, 2008 10:09 AM
by Emily Coakley
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan early Wednesday, followed by several aftershocks, caused landslides near Afghanistan’s border and left thousands homeless.
More than 160 people are dead after an earthquake hit Pakistan Wednesday, The Guardian reports.

The 6.4-magnitude quake hit just before dawn near Quetta, in the southwest, reported Voice of America. According to VOA, “Officials estimate that at least 12,000 people have been left homeless.”

The quake was followed hours later by a major aftershock measuring 6.2, according to the United States Geological Service, VOA said. The region was also rocked by 18 smaller aftershocks, the Guardian said.

The newspaper recounted a Quetta resident’s comments to the BBC: “It was a very strong earthquake. After the first jolt, which was not very strong, there was another big one. When I came out, I saw very strange things. It was like there was lightning all around the city. There was no electricity, but still there was light in the sky. The trees were jolting and shaking. It was just like a thunderstorm,” said Najam Maghlani.

Quetta was mostly destroyed in 1935 after an earthquake killed 30,000 people, said the Guardian, who called Wednesday’s disaster, “the deadliest since a quake of magnitude 7.6 in Kashmir and northern Pakistan in October 2005 killed about 80,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.”

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