Brutal Heat for Rescuers and Homeless After Pakistan Earthquake

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
September 27, 2013; 6:38 AM
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A powerful earthquake rattled southern Pakistan at 7:29 a.m. EDT, Tuesday. The earthquake was preliminarily given a magnitude of 7.4 but was later adjusted to a magnitude 7.7.

Over the next several days, survivors and rescue workers will experience dry conditions with light winds. However, temperatures during the middle of the day will be near 100, possibly causing issues with dehydration and heat stress for both rescuers and those affected by the earthquake.

The powerful quake was centered about 43 miles north-northeast of Awaran, Pakistan, and less than 200 miles northwest of Karachi.

The earthquake was reported at a depth of 9.3 miles, making it a very shallow quake.

Pakistani villagers look for belongings amid the rubble of their destroyed homes following an earthquake in the remote district of Awaran, Baluchistan province, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

The death toll from the earthquake has now reached at least 355 with nearly 700 injured, according to the Associated Press. The chief spokesman for the country's National Disaster Management Authority, Mirza Kamran Zia, says most of the casualties occurred when houses collapsed on people inside.

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The death toll is expected to increase along with reports of damaged and destroyed buildings throughout the region as the rescue efforts continue. Authorities estimate that 21,000 houses have been destroyed.

Villagers build a makeshift shelter in the ruins of their home that collapsed after Tuesday's earthquake in Mashkel, southwestern Baluchistan province, Thursday, April 18, 2013, in Pakistan. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

Reports of shaking were felt in Karachi and even as far away as New Delhi, India, according to the USGS.

A strong magnitude-5.9 aftershock was reported in the area about 7 minutes after the initial quake. More aftershocks are expected across the region during the next couple of days.

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