A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan early Thursday, killing at least 20 people and leaving 300 others injured, according to local authorities.
The quake occurred 15 kilometers northeast of Harnai in Balochistan Province at 3:01 a.m. local time at a depth of 9 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed by a magnitude 4.6 quake in the same area two hours later.
The death toll is feared to rise as people are believed to have been buried under collapsed homes and other buildings. Rescue efforts are reportedly being hampered as roads have become impassable due to landslides.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority in Balochistan said at least 300 people were brought to hospitals after the quake, including those critically injured.
Local officials said preliminary assessment indicates Harnai, a town about 100 km east of the provincial capital Quetta, is one of the worst affected towns.
The quake struck when most people were asleep. Images from the area shared on social media showed people on the street in the dark. A video posted on social media showed injured people lying outside the hospital with people using their cell phones for light.
Parts of the province suffered power outages.
Private broadcaster Geo TV quoted the provincial home minister as saying that heavy machinery and rescue teams have been dispatched to affected areas.
In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake struck the country's northeast, killing over 74,000 people. An earthquake that hit Quetta in 1935 claimed the lives of between 30,000 and 60,000 people, according to Reuters news agency.