Harnai earthquake death toll rises, government announces relief for victims

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The death toll in the earthquake that rocked Balochistan’s Harnai has increased to 22, officials revealed Sunday.

A woman, injured in the earthquake, was moved to the Combined Military Hospital Quetta late Saturday night via an Army helicopter after her health deteriorated. She couldn’t, however, sustain the injuries and passed away.

More than 300 people were injured in the earthquake. On Sunday, the federal government approved cash relief for all families affected by the natural disaster. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Senator Sania Nishtar visited Harnai and approved Rs12,000 cash relief for all the victims and their families. The relief will be mobilised under the Ehsaas Cash Programme.

The people of Harnai have, on the other hand, demanded that the Harnia to Quetta highway, demolished during the earthquake, be immediately reconstructed. They said that a part of the 80km long road has suffered damages because of which contact to other areas of the province has been lost. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal has reassured Harnai’s residents that the repairs will be completed soon.

Meanwhile, schools in the district have been closed indefinitely due to fear of aftershocks. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolted Harnai on Thursday at 3am. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Harnai, Balochistan and its depth was 15km.—INP

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