The quake struck early this morning in the province of Baluchistan, a sparsely populated area bordering Afghanistan.
The US Geological Survey reported that the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 and was a shallow 10 miles below the surface. The quake was centred 60 kilometres north-east of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan and about 400 miles south west of the capital Islamabad.
Local press reports hundreds of mostly mud and timber houses were destroyed and the earthquake triggered mudslides that blocked roads, hampered relief work and buried houses. Military helicopters were flown to the area.
Balochistan was also struck by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1997 which killed more than 100 people. The worst earthquake hit the province in 1935, killing more than 30,000 people and almost flattening the entire Quetta city.
On October 8, 2005, a massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shook Kashmir and Pakistan's mountain region, killing at least 73,000 people and leaving 3.5 million others homeless.