Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan Khalid Baloch has said provincial government is capable of handling the situation and providing relief to earthquake victims of Mashkail.

“The situation is under control of provincial government and earthquake affectees are being provided food, tents and other daily use items,” he asserted this while addressing a press conference at Quetta Press Club flanked by provincial Secretary Finance Dostain Jamaldini, here on Saturday.

He said Mashail tehsil of Washuk district, which was badly hit by 7.8 magnitude of earthquake, was a remote area which was located close to Iran border with sparse and scattered population. “Relief goods are being sent to Mashkail by road because there is no airbase in district Washuk from where relief goods could be airlifted,” he said.

Baloch said only 13 people were killed in earthquake and 52 others wounded. Eighteen injured were shifted to Quetta for treatment while others were being treated in Mashkail, Dalbandin and other areas.

He said 250 packets of food, 360 tents, 1,000 packs of sugar, tea, oil and other daily use items had been sent to Mashkail while aid given by Punjab government comprising food items and tents would soon be dispatched to Mashkail.

He said government had also sent teams to provide health facilities to the victims. He said government had also decided that the victims would be compensated financially. To a query, Khalid Baloch said the survey of damages had not been made so far while according to initial survey 1,500 houses had been damaged.

“Technical teams and engineers would visit the area and would estimate damages,” he said, adding that the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) would soon start its program in affected area.

On the occasion, Finance Secretary Dostain Jamaldini said that Mashkail tehsil of Washuk district had a long distance from Quetta where most of the houses were made of mud which had been damaged.

He conceded that Mashkail was most backward part of Balochistan where only one hospital was functional and the literacy rate was quite low while Mashkail lacked infrastructure due to which the relief goods reached quite late.

He said owing to bad weather the helicopters could not fly properly particularly in day time, however, all efforts were being made to provide maximum relief to the victims.

To a question, he thanked national and international media for proper and timely coverage of Mashkail earthquake. He said the government was capable of handling the situation.

Yet another question that why neighboring country Iran was not asked for help from where Mashkail was just 30 kilometers away, he said Iran had also been affected due to recent earthquake.