Pakistan: rescuers aid communities hit by 7.8 magnitude earthquake


A 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Iran on April 16, 2013. This Google Map shows the epicenter in southeast Sistan and Baluchistan province.

Rescuers, including dog teams trained to find people buried under debris, headed to the mountainous area of southeast Iran that borders Pakistan overnight to assist communities hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday.

Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority told CNN they were using helicopters to deploy doctors to the area and drop food supplies.

More from GlobalPost: Powerful 7.8 earthquake hits Iran

Pakistan appeared to bear the brunt of the earthquake, with officials counting at least 35 people dead and 150 injured in the town of Mashkel in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Reuters reported.

According to a local journalist at the scene, Mashkel was “totally destroyed” and most of the town's mud houses have been destroyed.

In Iran, national media reported 27 people injured but no fatalities.

While the quake was of a similar magnitude to an earthquake that killed an estimated 68,000 people in Sichuan province, China, in 2008, it was particularly deep, which lessened its force on Earth’s surface, the Guardian reported.

"The earthquake in Iran was strong but fortunately its source was quite deep,” Dr. David Rothery, chair of the Open University's volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis course, told the Guardian. “The intensity of the shaking was less than it would have been for a shallower earthquake of the same magnitude.”

"Because of the strength of the earthquake we had expected to see significant damage in residential areas, but the quake was at a depth of 95 km, and therefore the extent of the damage was on par with earthquakes measuring magnitude 4," Iranian Red Crescent official Morteza Moradipour told Reuters.