An earthquake measuring 7.2 at the Richter scale jolted south-western Pakistan, in a desert area bordering Iran and Afghanistan last night at around 1:23 AM. The quake had its epicenter some 55 km (34 miles) west of Dalbandin in the Balochistan province, at a depth of 84km (52 miles). In an initial report the depth of the epicenter was calculated as 10 kilometers, but later corrected to 84 kilometres. God forbids if the depth was as shallow as 10 km, this could have been another major disaster for Pakistan, which is still recovering from the after effects of the deadly flash floods that swept away million of houses last year in July.
It may be recalled that an earlier in October 2005, an earthquake of 7.6-magnitude hit northern areas of Pakistan which left some 73,000 people dead and a large number incapacitated/injured, beside causing major destruction and damage to communication infrastructure, buildings and roads.
Besides across all over Pakistan, the quake was also felt as far away as Delhi, India, and the Gulf emirates of Dubai and Qatar. In Pakistan, the ttremors lasted for some 20. People in the remote area of Balochistan resorted to aerial firing to wake up people asleep at almost midnight.
No major damage has been reported so far. However a friend of mine in Karachi who lives in a high rise apartment told me on telephone that he felt as if the entire building was swaying when the quake occurred.