National Post (Latest Edition)



QUETTA An earthquake hit southern Pakistan in the early hours of Thursday, killing 20 people, most of them women and children, and injuring about 300, at a time when many victims were asleep.

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck at a shallow depth of about 20 kilometres, with its epicentre 102 kilometres east of the city of Quetta, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

More than 100 mud houses collapsed and many buildings were damaged, said district official Sohail Anwar. Television images showed buildings with gaping cracks, cavedin roofs and crumpled walls.

About 250 homes collapsed and many people were killed by falling roofs and crumbling walls in the district’s Babu Mohallah neighbourh­ood, said Nawab Khan, a local journalist.

“The entire town is a picture of devastatio­n, as no house looks safe, thousands of people are rendered homeless and are under open sky,” Khan said, adding that almost 70 per cent of power supply to the district had been disrupted.

Rescuers sifted rubble for survivors, with some of the injured being treated on stretchers in the street by torchlight from mobile telephones.

“The earthquake struck at about 3 a.m.,” said one resident, Muzaffar Khan Tareen, adding that some of the seriously injured were in hospital awaiting ambulances to take them to Quetta.

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