Pakistani villagers and rescuers are searching through rubble for survivors of a strong earthquake that has killed at least 170 people in southwestern Pakistan.
Officials say the six-point-four magnitude quake destroyed hundreds of mud-brick homes before dawn on Wednesday in Baluchistan province. At least 12-thousand people were made homeless and are spending the night outdoors in freezing temperatures.Authorities say at least 170 bodies have been recovered from the rubble so far.
International aid groups in the quake zone estimate that hundreds of people were killed.The earthquake devastated villages in Ziarat, a mountainous district near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan that also is a major tourist site.
The quake triggered landslides that flattened homes as people slept and also blocked roads.Distraught villagers were digging mass graves to bury relatives and friends. Pakistani authorities have sent food, shelter and other supplies to the region.
Medical teams have also treated hundreds of injured people.Aftershocks shook the region for hours, including one with a magnitude of six-point-two that struck in the late afternoon.Fatalities also were reported in Baluchistan's Pishin district.A strong earthquake hit northwestern Pakistan in October of 2005, killing nearly 75-thousand people.
Meanwhile, Chief Adviser of Bangladesh Caretaker Government Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed and Bangladesh President Iazuddiin Ahmed conveyed sympathies to the relatives of those who have lost their lives at the earthquake.Dr Fakhruddin and Mr. Ahmed in separate messages of condolences to President Asif Ali Jardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan today, expressed the hope that the government and the people of Pakistan would face this calamity with resilience and fortitude.