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SHAKE AND BLOW
Pakistan quake victims clamour for aid
by Staff Writers
Mashkail, Pakistan (AFP) April 19, 2013


7.2 earthquake shakes northern Japan: USGS
Tokyo (AFP) April 19, 2013 - A major 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off northern Japan on Friday, seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake hit at 0305 GMT near the Russian-administered Kuril island chain, 1,490 kilometres (926 miles) north of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was located 122 km deep.

The quake rocked towns in the northernmost Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.

"We have received no reports of damage so far," a spokesman at the Hokkaido police said, adding there were no reports of injuries.

The epicentre is close to the four Southern Kuril islands that were seized by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II but are claimed by Japan.

The area is prone to earthquakes.

Pakistani earthquake victims staged protests Friday, demanding the government do more to provide emergency relief as they prepared to spend a fourth night sleeping out in the open.

Tuesday's 7.8-magnitude quake, centred in southeastern Iran, killed 41 people -- all but one of whom were in Pakistan, where thousands more have been affected.

One of the worst-hit areas is Mashkail, a remote community in Pakistan's southwestern province Baluchistan, where the lack of paved roads, phone coverage and medical facilities have hampered the rescue effort.

Local residents held two protests on Friday outside government offices in Mashkail, demanding shelter and the restoration of electricity after poles in some areas were destroyed by the earthquake.

"What we need urgently is shelter. How long we can stay under open sky?" said Suhbat Khan, 48, a petrol importer.

Families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed are camping out under date trees without tents or plastic sheets, although food and water is available in shops that remain open, coming from across the border with Iran.

"If this earthquake had struck some other area, all the government machinery would have gone. Here only two government officials came but delivered nothing," Mohammd Khalil, a driver, told AFP.

"If they cannot do it, they should allow Iran to help us," he added.

Estimates of the number of people affected have risen steadily.

On Friday, local Mashkail administration official Syed Mureed Shah put the figure at more than 35,000 out of nearly 40,000 people scattered throughout the wider district of Washuk.

Thousands of homes are believed to have been damaged.

"We do not have enough relief goods," Shah added.

"Trucks carrying relief items are stranded because access to area is blocked and we have sent men and machinery to clear (the road).

"We have got only 300 tents but cannot distribute them because they are not enough and people not getting tents will create problem and unrest," he added.

Baluchistan, which also borders Afghanistan, is plagued by Islamist militancy, attacks on the Shiite Muslim minority and a separatist Baluch insurgency.

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Related Links
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SHAKE AND BLOW
More than 12,000 affected by quake in Pakistan: official
Mashkail, Pakistan (AFP) April 18, 2013
More than 12,000 Pakistanis living in a remote, impoverished southwestern desert region near the Iranian border have been affected by this week's huge earthquake, a relief official said Thursday. The 7.8-magnitude quake, centred in southeastern Iran on Tuesday was the Islamic republic's most powerful in five decades and killed 41 people - all but one of them were in Pakistan. In Pakista ... read more


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