A powerful earthquake collapsed at least one coal mine and many flimsy mud houses in southwest Pakistan early Thursday, killing at least 11 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.
The epicentre of the 5.7 magnitude quake was about 14 kilometres north-northeast of Harnai in Baluchistan province, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck about 20 kilometres below the surface.
The area, about 100 kilometres from Quetta, the provincial capital, is dotted with coal mines, which has Shaheen worried the death toll could rise. It struck in the early morning while scores of miners were already at work, he said.
Most of the population in the area live in sunbaked mud houses, many of which collapsed. Rescue efforts were underway, but Shaheen said it would take hours just to reach many of the hardest-hit areas.
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