Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake Strikes Pakistan in Baluchistan Province

A U.S. Geological Survey map showing the location of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit southern Pakistan on Wednesday, Jan. 19. (Courtesy of the USGS) A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan near the South Asian country’s border with Afghanistan at 1:23 a.m. local time on Wednesday, Jan. 19 (3:23 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 18), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The earthquake, which was at a depth of 52.2 miles, hit 30 miles west of Dalbandin.
Within an hour of the earthquake, 146 people had reported to the USGS that they had felt the earthquake. Tremors from the massive quake were felt as far as the Arabian Peninsula and India, 600 to 800 miles away.
In the United Arab Emirates, the shaking ground startled locals, “sending waves of panic among people who rushed out of their homes,” Gulf News reported. Indian media NDTV noted that residents of the northern Indian states of Haryana and Rajasthan also felt the earthquake.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, deaths, or damage.
An earthquake of such magnitude can cause extensive and heavy damage. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake that hit 60 miles northeast of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Oct. 8, 2005, killed 86,000, according to the USGS. The last major earthquake in the country was a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Oct. 28, 2008, that killed 166.

Magnitude-7.4 earthquake hits Pakistan, damages houses
At least ten houses were damaged following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Pakistan on early Wednesday morning, sources told Xinhua.

According to the sources, the houses damaged in the earthquake were in Quetta, capital city of Balochistan province. But details about the damage are not immediately available.

Sources in Karachi also informed Xinhua that a three-story building collapsed in the city during the earthquake. But details about the casualties are not known at the moment of this time.

Local media quoted meteorological officials as saying that the epicenter was located in the Kharan area of Balochistan province. Meteorological officials warned that there might be aftershocks following the earthquake.

The earthquake that took place at about 1:23 a.m. local time Wednesday (2023 GMT Tuesday) jolted most major cities in the southwestern and southern parts of the country, including Quetta, Karachi and Multan. Strong tremors were also felt in the country’s eastern city of Lahore.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pakistan to impose partial curfew in Karachi

Pakistan said on Sunday that it will impose a curfew over parts of Karachi after at least 17 people were killed in a fresh wave of political violence in the southern port city.

Tensions are high between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP), which each represents rival communities in Karachi, a city straddling political fault lines.

“A semi-curfew will be imposed in some areas of Karachi,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in a brief televised interview with reporters, after meeting top provincial officials in Karachi.

Malik did not explain what he meant by “semi-curfew”, but Sindh province home ministry spokesman Sharfuddin Memon told AFP “it is for the authorities to decide for how long they would like a troubled area to remain under curfew.” On Saturday Memon told AFP that at least 17 people had been the victims of targeted killings since Thursday.

Dozens of suspects linked to the killings have been rounded up, with extra police and paramilitary rangers deployed in Karachi’s trouble-prone western neighbourhoods.

“It is responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to protect the people,” Malik said, justifying the decision to impose the partial curfew, without disclosing which areas would be affected.

Malik also said, without elaborating, that there was “a third element trying to deteriorate the situation in Karachi.” Among the 17 people killed this week was Wali Khan Babar, a reporter for the private Geo television station, who was shot dead late Thursday in an attack condemned by journalists’ unions and civil society organisations.

Political violence in Karachi in 2010 was the worst for years, with 85 people killed in August after a lawmaker was shot dead and more than 70 in October on the eve of the vote to elect the MP’s successor.

The city is also plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings.

The MQM is a partner in the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition that rules the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Security stepped up for Bhittai's urs

Massive deployment of security forces with the support of sophisticated detective equipments was made to avoid any untoward incident during the 267th annual urs celebrations of great saint poet of Sindh Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai to be commenced from January 19 or 20, depends on sighting of moon of Saffar.

The decision was made in the meeting of Mella Organizing Committee held under the Chairmanship of Provincial Secretary Culture Ellumuddin Bullo at Bhitshah Rest House on Wednesday.The Consultant Culture Department Shams Jafrani, Director General Culture Sikandar Panhwar, DCO Matiari Saqib Soomro, DPO Matiari Abdul Qayoom Pitafi, Col. Rangers Imran, Director Culture Sindh Muhammad Ali Manjhi, Pir Mazhar Shah alias Nazan Sain and other officers from HESCO, PTCL, Agriculture, Livestock, Education, Revenue departments and TMA attended the meeting and took part in threadbare discussion for the arrangements to celebrate the 267th annual urs celebrations of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (RA) in befitting and peaceful atmosphere.

The Provincial Secretary Culture Ellumuddin Bullo while addressing the participants said that keeping in view the terrorist incidents at Data Darbar at Lahore and Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi (RA) at Karachi, the security measures at the annual urs celebrations would be intensified enough to avoid any untoward incident during urs celebrations.

He said that as compared to 600 police personnel deployed during last exercise, 1800 to 2400 massive deployment with the support of latest detective equipments such as walk through gets, close circuit cameras, metal and explosive detectors would be deployed at important venues during the proceedings of the celebrations at Bhitshah.

The DPO Abdul Qayoom Pitafi informed the meeting that a foolproof contingency security plan to cover all proceedings of urs celebrations has been prepared.

Source: thenews.com.pk