At least 20 dead as houses collapse in Pakistan earthquake

At least 20 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded after an earthquake struck Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, local officials said, with rescue teams attempting to clear debris and gain access to the area.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck as most residents of the Harnai district, about 100km (60 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta, were asleep at just past 3am local time (22:00 GMT) on Thursday, according to United States Geological Survey data. The tremor took place at a depth of about 20 kilometres (12 miles).

The provincial disaster management authority said at least 200 people were injured.

“Rescue officials have reached the scene and are working,” Osama bin Ijaz, a provincial disaster management official, told Al Jazeera.

A survey of the damage to the houses and other buildings in Harnai was ongoing, he said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has “ordered immediate assistance on an emergency basis” to residents of the area following the earthquake.

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