UK & World News
Pakistan Earthquake Leaves More Than 200 Dead
At least 210 people have died after a powerful earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan, causing hundreds of homes to collapse.
The 7.7 magnitude earthquake, which centred on the thinly populated province of Balochistan, was felt across south Asia.
It destroyed around 90% of homes, many of them built from mud, and damaged communications.
There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties, as rescue workers tried to reach those trapped beneath the rubble.
A Pakistani official told the AP news agency that 271 people were confirmed dead, although other officials told Reuters the number was closer to 330.
Many of those killed are thought to have been living in the district of Awaran, where at least 370 people were also injured, according to deputy commissioner Abdul Rasheed Gogazai.
The Pakistan army deployed helicopters and 1,000 soldiers to help with the rescue effort in the huge, earthquake-prone province of deserts and rugged mountains bordering Iran and Afghanistan.
The area has only minimal infrastructure, making the evacuation and treatment of those injured by the earthquake more difficult.
Jan Muhammad Buledi, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, said: "We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals."
A convoy of 60 vehicles carrying food, medicines, tents and paramedics is due to arrive in Balochistan after leaving the city of Karachi.
The aid will be distributed among the 300,000 people thought to have been affected by the earthquake.
They include around 60,000 who live within 50km (31 miles) of the epicentre, southwest of Khuzdar, according to the UN disaster agency.
The earthquake was so strong it is believed to have caused a small island to emerge just off the coastline in the Arabian Sea.
Dr Asif Inam, principal scientific officer at the National Institute of Oceanography, said: "The island appears to be about 200 metres long, 20 metres high and 100 metres wide, although all this information needs to be verified scientifically.
"Detailed information will be available tomorrow when the staff visit the site and collect samples."
Similar islands emerged on Pakistan's Makaran coast in 1999 and 2011.
They later collapsed because of strong currents and were found not to be the result of tectonic activity.