Runners in Boston last night may have found themselves on shaky ground when explosive devices blasted them off their marathon course on the home stretch to the finishing line, but over in a different part of the globe, a natural disaster has shaken the Persian-Pakistani belt to its core. A powerful 7.8-magnitude quake has wreaked havoc with lives and livelihoods in the Near East.
The quake struck Iran near the border with Pakistan just a week after an earlier and milder tremor shook the country.
The last earthquake to rock Iran with a 7.8 magnitude happened in 1978 and killed approximately 15,000 people.
Reports from eye-witnesses on the ground tell of the quake taking those snatching their midday naps unawares and even while it hit a sparsely populated spot, hundreds of dead could be expected. For now, a state of confusion has gripped the media and conflicting death toll reports are getting news wires crossed. 
The epicenter and biggest jolt might have been felt in Southeastern Iran, bordering Pakistan, but the murmurs echoed in several countries in Asia on Tuesday. The Arabian peninsular felt some of the aftershock. Whether rocking buildings in the Indian capital of New Delhi, sending panic waves through Karachi’s streets, and causing tremors through Persian Gulf states, the ripple effects were not confined to one or two nations.
Here’s a look a the afflicted countries’ first response in the wake of the latest deadly disaster to strike the core of the earth’s crust.The Mideast scape reels after Iran’s quake.