Actual casualties in Harnai quake exceed official toll: minister

The actual number of people killed in the Harnai earthquake is far greater than the official death toll, said the provincial minister for public health engineering and WASA, Noor Muhammad Damar, on Friday.

He said that the number of injured persons had also been under-reported.

Urging domestic and international agencies to respond immediately, he said that the people in the affected areas needed urgent relief.

Addressing media persons in Quetta, he said that provincial and federal governments should step up efforts for rehabilitating the survivors and providing them with adequate financial aid to help them repair or reconstruct their houses destroyed or damaged in the earthquake.

Criticizing his own government, he said that as many as 200 houses had been destroyed in floods in Harnai. He said that the provincial government had announced to pay compensation to owners of all such houses, adding that survivors were still awaiting payment of compensation.

He said that after making hectic efforts, he had been able to get the provincial government to approve the payment of Rs5,000 per house.

“This is a dismal amount which will achieve nothing. This time around, the survivors need to be paid at least Rs3 million or Rs4 million so that the survivors could begin rebuilding their houses and shops,” the minister said.

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