extent 5.7 earthquake rocks southwest Pakistan, at the minimum 11 dead – …

A powerful earthquake early Thursday shook a far away mountainous part of southwestern Pakistan dotted with coal mines and mud houses, killing at the minimum 11 people and injuring more than 200, an official said.

The death toll was expected to rise as officials search by the far away mountainous area, said Suhail Anwar Shaheen, the deputy commissioner of the area.

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at the minimum four of the dead were killed when the coal mine in which they were working collapsed, said Shaheen, citing reports from coal miners in the area.

The epicenter of the 5.7 extent quake was about 14 kilometers (8 miles) north-northeast of Harnai in Baluchistan province, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit about 20 kilometers (12 miles) below the surface.

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The area, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Quetta, the provincial capital, is dotted with coal mines, which has Shaheen worried the death toll could rise. It hit in the early morning while scores of miners were already at work, he said.

Most of the population in the area live in sun-baked 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.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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