A powerful earthquake in Pakistan has killed at least 20 people. It collapsed at least one coal mine and many flimsy mud houses in south-west Pakistan early this morning local time, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 200, an official said.
The death toll was expected to rise as crews searched in the remote mountainous area, said Suhail Anwar Shaheen, the local deputy commissioner.
At least four of the dead were killed when the coal mine in which they were working collapsed, said Shaheen, citing coal miners in the area. As many as 100 homes also collapsed, burying sleeping residents inside.
The epicentre of the 5.9 magnitude quake was some 8 miles north-northeast of Harnai in Baluchistan province, according to the US Geological Survey.
The initial measurement of the quake’s strength was 5.7 magnitude. It struck some 12 miles below the Earth’s surface. Shallower quakes tend to cause more damage.
The area, around 60 miles from Quetta, the provincial capital, is dotted with coal mines, which has officials worried the death toll could rise. It struck in the early morning while scores of miners were already at work.
Most of the population in the area live in mud-brick houses, many of which collapsed. Rescue efforts were underway, but Shaheen said it would take hours to reach many of the hardest-hit areas.