20 killed as earthquake flattens mine and housing in Pakistan mountains

A local resident looks his damaged house following a severe earthquake hit the area, in Harnai, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, Pakistan. A powerful earthquake shook parts of southwestern Pakistan early Thursday. (AP Photo)

A local resident looks his damaged house following a severe earthquake hit the area, in Harnai, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, Pakistan. A powerful earthquake shook parts of southwestern Pakistan early Thursday. (AP Photo)

A powerful earthquake has collapsed at least one coal mine and dozens of mud houses in south-west Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 200, an official said.

The death toll is expected to rise as crews search 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 Mr Shaheen, citing miners in the area.

As many as 100 homes also collapsed, burying sleeping residents.

The epicentre of the 5.9 magnitude quake was about nine miles north-north-east 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 about five and a half below the Earth’s surface. Shallower quakes tend to cause more damage.

The area, about 60 miles from Quetta, the provincial capital, is dotted with coal mines, and the tremor struck in the early morning while scores of miners were at work.

Pakistan’s military was deployed to the area to airlift dozens of injured people from mountain peaks, and search and rescue teams have arrived in the area.

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About Cholo Brooks 15849 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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