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News from Quetta, Pakistan about an earthquake with a rising death toll of 150. More from AP by Sattar Kakar.
The death toll was expected to rise as reports arrived from remote areas of Baluchistan, the impoverished province bordering Afghanistan where the magnitude 6.4 quake struck.
The worst-hit area appeared to be Ziarat, where hundreds of mostly mud and timber houses had been destroyed in five villages, Mayor Dilawar Kakar said. Some homes were buried in a landslide triggered by the quake, he said.
The quake struck two hours before dawn and had a magnitude of 6.4, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It was a shallow 10 miles below the surface and was centered about 400 miles southwest of the capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan is prone to violent seismic upheavals. Wednesday's quake was the deadliest since a magnitude-7.6 quake devastated Kashmir and northern Pakistan in October 2005, killing about 80,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
According to Darwaish of All Things Pakistan:
About rescue efforts from the BBC:
Reports say teams of army and paramilitary Frontier Corps troops are in the area, helping to rescue the injured and retrieve bodies.
Senior army official Maj Gen Salim Nawaz said the area remained accessible for convoys carrying relief material.
But the mountainous region is thinly populated and local infrastructure is poor, making it difficult to get a clear picture of the casualties.
The two main tremors struck at about 0409 and then 0510.
The BBC's Azizullah Khan in Balochistan says aftershocks of 6.2 magnitude have rattled the province on Wednesday, causing more panic among local people.
Officials say there have also been at least four aftershocks.
Our correspondent says communications in many areas have been cut off and many people are scared to return to their homes as another cold night approaches.
Provincial Revenue Minister Zamrak Khan told Reuters news agency that many affected areas had still not yet been reached.
And a local television correspondent reported that some people in villages outside Quetta were angry that no rescue teams had arrived on the scene.
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