19 Jan 2011

Major quake rattles southwest Pakistan

5:08 pm on 19 January 2011

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake has been recorded in southwestern Pakistan.

The US Geological Survey says the quake occurred 55km west of Dalbandin in Baluchistan, a desert area bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

It was recorded at 1.23am local time on Wednesday at a depth of 80km.

The BBC reports the area is sparsely populated. However, major population centres are fairly close to the epicentre.

No immediate details of any damage were available. TV reports said the quake was felt in Karachi and in Dubai.

However, people in the border province of Rajasthan in India said cracks appeared in the walls of rural dwellings.

Pakistan is still dealing with the aftermath of devastating floods in the 2010 monsoon season when more than 10 million people were left homeless.

A magnitude 7.6 quake which occurred 95km northeast of the capital Islamabad on 8 October 2005 killed over 70,000 people.