AWARAN: The death toll due to the devastating earthquake that hit the six provinces of Balochistan on Tuesday afternoon, has soared to 515 as more bodies were retrieved from the collapsed houses while hundreds of others injured persons were being provided medical treatment.
However, miseries of the quake affected population prevail due to insufficient steps taken by provincial and National Disaster Management Authority, provincial and federal governments as hundreds of families are forced to lead life under open sky without basic facilities.
Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob who visited various districts in the earthquake affected areas said that infrastructure in the said was badly damaged and it was feared that death toll may rise further as the population is scattered in far flung areas and condition of many among the injured was also serious.
According to the statistics of the Balochistan government more than 300,000 people hailing from six districts of the province were adversely affected of the earthquake.
It is pertinent to mention here that the scale of the territory involved is daunting. Balochistan, the country’s least developed province, makes up about 45 percent of the country’s total area, and Awaran’s population is scattered over more than 21,000 square kilometres.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has established a fund for the assistance and relief of earthquake victims of Balochistan. He said the government will use all available resources for the complete recovery and rehabilitation of quake affected people.
Meanwhile‚ Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Government have donated 100 million rupees to the Prime Minister’s Balochistan Earthquake Relief Fund.
All the cabinet members of Punjab and PML-N MPAs have donated one month salary to the relief fund.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly was informed on Friday that relief and rescue operation in quake affected areas of Awaran and Kech areas of Balochistan is in full swing and there is no shortage of relief goods.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House that affected people have requested that relief and rehabilitation work must be carried out under the supervision of Army. He said about one hundred thousand people have been affected by the earthquake.
The Minister said thirty doctors including female gynaecologists have reached the affected areas to provide treatment facilities to the victims. He said Pakistan Army has also established an Operation Room in quake affected areas.
Abdul Qadir Baloch said the government has not yet sought any foreign assistance but he appealed the NGOs and philanthropists to come forward and play their role for the relief and rehabilitation of affected people.
Earlier talking to media persons, he said that provincial government, district administration, Pakistan Army, FC and volunteers of NGOs area engaged in facilitating the affectees but still hundreds of families were living under open sky without basic facilities.
Abdul Qadir Baloch said that there is acute shortage of edibles, tents, treatment facilities which has further added to the miseries of the devastated population.
He said that tehsil Awaran and Mashkey was destroyed completely but government’s efforts to facilitate the people of the ruined areas seem to be insufficient.
The federal minister urged the provincial, federal governments, NGOs and citizens for playing their role for providing relief and rehabilitation of the people who were deprived off their livelong belongings due to earthquake.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has appealed to the nation to help earthquake affected people openheartedly as the death toll and other losses are feared to be increased.
He said that the nation should not leave their Baloch brothers and sisters alone in this hour of trouble. He said it is also necessary to appeal to the international community to extend their support to the earthquake hit people of Balochistan.