At least 20 dead after earthquake strikes Pakistan

Military helicopters were deployed in southern Pakistan after a deadly earthquake struck early Thursday morning.

The magnitude 5.7 quake happened as people slept in the southern city of Harnai, collapsing scores of houses and damaging many more.

Rescue workers said the dead were mostly women and children while authorities say hundreds more have been injured or rendered homeless.

Crowds of victims and their relatives gathered outside a local hospital past dawn.

One medical official said that the critically-injured were being transferred to the provincial capital of Quetta.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was relatively shallow, and had an epicentre about 100 kilometers east of Quetta.

Quetta is also the site of one of the deadliest earthquakes to hit South Asia in recorded history when a 7.7 magnitude quake struck in 1935, killing between 30 and 60 thousand people.

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