* Quake of 7.2 magnitude ranks as "major"
* Authorities say no reports of casualties
* Depth of quake apparently limited damage
(Updates with comment from authorities, changes byline,
By Saeed Ali Achakzai
QUETTA, Jan 19 A powerful earthquake of
magnitude 7.2 shook southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, jolting
residents of cities as far apart as New Delhi and Dubai, but
doing little damage in the sparsely populated region.
The quake was more than 80 km (50 miles) underground, close
to the town of Dalbandin in Baluchistan province, near the
Afghan and Iranian frontiers, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Akbar Durrani, interior secretary of Baluchistan province,
said there were no reports of casualties.
"There has been partial damage to house in villages near
Dalbandin but there were no casualties," he told Reuters.
Naeem Shah, head of Dalbandin police, said he had no reports
of any injuries or deaths.
"There were no human losses," Shah said. "The walls of a few
houses and offices collapsed but there are no reports of any
The USGS said the epicentre of the quake, which struck at
1:23 a.m. (2023 GMT on Tuesday), was 55 km (34 miles) west of
Dalbandin, a town of about 15,000 people, and at a depth of 83
km (52 miles).
Poor communications delayed reports from the remote area but
despite the strength of the shock, its depth seems to have
limited damage. The USGS had first said the earthquake was much
People in India's northwestern border state of Rajasthan
said cracks appeared in the walls of rural dwellings.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan were unaffected by the quake,
according to preliminary reports from the U.S. military.
PEOPLE FLEE THEIR HOUSES
In Quetta, the capital and largest city in Baluchistan, 330
km (205 miles) northeast of the epicentre, a woman died at a
hospital from a heart attack following the quake, hospital
In the major Pakistani port of Karachi, 400 km (250 miles)
away, people rushed from their homes as the quake hit.
"I felt like my bed was shaking. I got up and ran to check
the children," said Masooma Rizvi. "It was very scary. I have
never felt anything like this before."
The Pacific Tsunami Center said the quake had not triggered
a tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
A major quake of this magnitude, if at a shallow depth and
close to population centres, is capable of causing widespread
and heavy damage. Pakistan is still reeling from devastating
floods last year that left more than 10 million people homeless.
At least 160 people were killed when a 6.4-magnitude
earthquake struck Baluchistan, about 60 km (37.3 miles) north of
Quetta, in October 2008.
In 2005, a 7.6 magnitude quake 95 km (60 miles) northeast of
the Pakistani capital of Islamabad killed more than 70,000
A 7.7-magnitude earthquake in 1935 hit Quetta, killing
between 30,000 and 60,000 people, making it one of the deadliest
quakes to hit South Asia in recorded history.
(Additional reporting by Faisal Aziz in Karachi, Augustine
Anthony in Islamabad, C.J. Kuncheria in New Delhi and Sandra
Maler in Washington; Editing by Chris Allbritton)
(For more Reuters coverage of Pakistan, see: here)
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