Quake in southwest Pakistan kills more than 200 people

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The death toll from a strong earthquake that struck southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday has risen to more than 200, a spokesman for the provincial government has said,

Jan Mohammad Bulaidi, put the death toll as high as 216, according to the Associated Press on Wednesday, after the magnitude 7.7 quake struck in the district of Awaran in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Conflicting death tolls have been reported however, likely due to the difficulty in contacting local officials in the remote region.

A spokesman for the chief secretary of Baluchistan province, Kamran Asad, gave the updated death toll of 182 on Wednesday

“We have started to bury the dead,” Abdul Rasheed Gogazai, the deputy commissioner of Awaran, the most affected district in Baluchistan province, told Reuters news agency. He said at least 373 people were wounded.

Gogazai had put the death toll at 208.

The quake struck in a remote area of Baluchistan with little population, said the head of Pakistan's Earthquake Center, Zahid Rafi.

The quake was felt in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, along the Arabian Sea. People in the city's tall office buildings rushed into the streets following the tremor, and Pakistani television showed images of lights swaying as the earth moved.

(With AP and Reuters)

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