AFP Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
Feb 08, 2017, 12.25 AM
A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Pakistan early Wednesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
The shallow quake struck at 3:03 am (2203 GMT Tuesday), with the epicentre 23 kilometres (14 miles) southwest of the coastal town of Pasni, the USGS said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the remote province of Balochistan which covers the quake zone.
An AFP reporter in the provincial capital Quetta said residents in towns and cities near the epicentre, including the port of Gwadar, woke in panic and rushed out of their homes reciting verses from the Koran.
Pakistan straddles part of the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.
In October 2015, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people, flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.
The country was also hit by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005 that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
Impoverished Balochistan has been wracked for more than a decade by Islamist, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.