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Shakil Adil, Associated Press
A Pakistani woman speaks on her mobile phone after rushing out of her apartment following a major earthquake that struck Baluchistan province in southwest Pakistan, 693 Kilometers (430 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. A deadly earthquake struck Tuesday in southwestern Pakistan sending poeople fleeing into the streets and praying for their lives as buildings swayed, officials said.

ISLAMABAD — An official says the death toll has risen to 39 in a major earthquake in southwestern Pakistan.

The chief spokesman for the country's National Disaster Management Authority, Mirza Kamran Zia, says most of the casualties occurred when houses collapsed on people inside.

Tuesday's quake hit a remote area of Baluchistan province. Baluchistan is the country's largest province but also the least populated.

Pakistani officials put the quake size at magnitude 7.7, while the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo. reported the quake as magnitude 7.8.