Death toll expected to rise even further as crews searched in the remote mountainous area where coal mines and homes collapsed

A powerful earthquake collapsed at least one coal mine and dozens of mud houses in southwest Pakistan early Thursday, killing at least 23 people as the death toll continued to creep higher. At least another 200 people were injured, the Associated Press reported, citing a local official.

The death tally was expected to rise even further as crews searched in the remote mountainous area, said Suhail Anwar Shaheen, the local deputy commissioner.

At least four people were killed when the coal mine in which they were working collapsed, said Shaheen, citing coal miners in the area. As many as 100 homes also collapsed, burying sleeping residents inside.

The epicenter of the 5.9 magnitude quake was about 15 kilometers (9 miles) north-northeast of Harnai in Baluchistan province, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The initial measurement of the quake’s strength was 5.7 magnitude. It struck about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) below the Earth’s surface; shallower quakes tend to cause more damage.

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