At least 20 dead in Pakistan earthquake

A powerful earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan early on Thursday, leaving at least 20 people dead.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.9 quake hit the province of Baluchistan shortly after 3 a.m., local time.

The quake struck about 9 kilometers below ground, with its epicenter roughly 97 kilometers east of the provincial capital Quetta.

Local authorities say many houses have collapsed and at least 20 people have died, including women and children. They say more than 300 people are being treated at hospitals for their injuries.

Local media say many people are still trapped beneath collapsed roofs and walls, and military personnel are continuing the rescue work.

Pakistan was struck by a major earthquake, focused in the northern part of the country, in October 2005. More than 70,000 people died in that quake.