Media reports say at least 20 people have died and hundreds have been injured after the quake struck Pakistan’s southern province of Balochistan in the early hours of Thursday. 

Officials in Pakistan said at least 20 people have been killed and hundreds more injured after an earthquake struck the southern province of Balochistan on Thursday.

According to the US Geological Survey the quake had a magnitude of 5.7 and was centered around 20 kilometers below the earth's surface.

Citing disaster management officials in Balochistan, Deutsche Welle (DW) says the earthquake struck in the early hours of Thursday morning while people slept.

According to Firstpost, the worst-affected area was the remote mountainous city of Harnai, where a lack of paved roads, electricity and mobile phone coverage hampered rescuers.

The quake caused electricity to fail in the region, with health staff working until dawn without lights in a poorly equipped government hospital.

Reuters says more than 100 mud houses reportedly collapsed and a large number were damaged, including government buildings. 

Balochistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority Director General Naseer Nasir has said that at least 20 people were killed and more than 200 injured.  He warned that the toll may rise.     

Pakistan straddles the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.