Twenty-three people were killed and more than 300 injured when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck south-western Baluchistan province early on Thursday.

Iran PressAsia: The epicenter of the quake was about 100 kilometers east of Quetta near the Afghan border, and was centered about 20 kilometers below the surface.

The coal-mining town of Harnai in Baluchistan province sustained the brunt of the earthquake.

The quake caused as many as 100 mud houses to collapse, trapping many residents inside as they were sleeping.

Pakistani Officials said it would take hours to reach many of the hardest-hit areas in the coal-mining region.

The powerful tremors triggered landslides at two places on the main highway linking Quetta to Harnai.

Rescue operations were underway with Pakistan army deployment to reach coal miners trapped underground.


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