More than 300 people were killed and roughly 400 others injured by the magnitude-7.7 earthquake that struck the southwestern province of Baluchistan, Pakistani authorities said Wednesday, warning that the death toll could rise as rescuers search through the rubble of collapsed buildings.
"Among the victims are women and children," the province's interior secretary, Asad Gilani, told a press conference.
The priority now is pulling bodies out of the rubble and getting the injured to hospitals, he said.
Tuesday's powerful quake was felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of miles east of Baluchistan.
"Specialized rescue teams arrive at midday and we hope to accelerate aid efforts," National Disaster Management Authority spokesman Kamran Zia told Efe Wednesday.
Army helicopters have been deployed to the stricken area to airlift the most badly injured to hospitals in Quetta and Karachi, while troops erect a field hospital closer to the scene, Zia said.
Baluchistan lies in a seismically active region and dozens died in the province earlier this year in an earthquake whose epicenter was in neighboring Iran. EFE