Printed on: September 25, 2013

Pakistan earthquake kills at least 39 as houses collapse

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) -- Thousands of Pakistanis ran into the streets praying for their lives Tuesday as a 7.7-magnitude earthquake rocked a remote area in the southwest, killing at least 39 people and possibly creating a small island off the coast.

The Pakistani military said it was rushing troops and helicopters to Baluchistan province's Awaran district, where the quake was centered, and the nearby area of Khuzdar. Local officials said they were sending doctors, food and 1,000 tents for people who had nowhere to sleep as strong aftershocks continued to shake the region.

Most of the victims were killed when their houses collapsed.

Pakistani officials were investigating whether the quake was so powerful that it pushed up the earth and formed a new land mass.

Witnesses reported seeing a small island -- about 30 feet high and 109 yards long -- appear off the coast of the port of Gwadar after the quake, said Arif Mahmood, the director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department.