QUETTA: A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Pakistan on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. The shallow quake struck at 3:03am, with the epicentre 23 kilometres southwest of the coastal town of Pasni, the USGS said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the remote province of Balochistan, which covers the quake zone. An AFP reporter in Quetta said residents in towns and cities near the epicentre, including the port of Gwadar, woke up in panic and rushed out of their homes.
Makran Division Commissioner Bashir Bangulzai said that a complete survey had been conducted throughout the division, and no damage or loss of life reported. He further said that relief teams had been sent to the remote areas of the region to ensure safety of residents there. Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Tufail Baloch confirmed that no damage had occurred in the area.
Pakistan straddles part of the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.
In October 2015, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people, flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts. The country was also hit by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005 that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Azad Kashmir.