At least 20 people, including six children, were killed in a 5.9 quake that hit the Pakistani district of Harnai just after 3am on Thursday, 9 October.
The quake was felt across at least six cities and towns, but the remote district of Harnai was worst-affected, with landslides triggered by the jolt blocking some roads and hampering rescue efforts in the area.
Images published by the Balochistan Levies law enforcement agency showed men clearing fallen rocks from a blocked road, with only the headlights of cars parked nearby to cut through the darkness.
‘It was a strong earthquake. The jolt was very powerful,’ Mr Zaman Shah told AFP in Harnai. ‘Our homes have suffered damage, and lives were also lost.’
Provincial officials said dozens, if not hundreds, of people were injured, while hundreds of mud brick houses were damaged.
As day broke, Harnai residents were sifting through the yellow-brown rubble that once constituted their homes.
Children with smudged faces and bandaged heads sat in stunned silence on stretchers as ambulances wailed by and army helicopters roared overhead.
They were evacuating those worst injured from remote areas to Quetta, the nearest major city.
For more information, go to www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/despair-as-families-sift-through-rubble-of-deadly-pakistan-quake