Earthquake jolts North India, Pakistan; 6 dead, 28 injured

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A powerful earthquake of 6.8 magnitude on Richter scale shaken north India including Chandigarh, Kashmir and other areas in region — the initial tremor felt was at 4.01 pm in Delhi.

The quake was felt not just India, but also Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. The temblor had its epicentre in the Hindukush mountain range of Afghanistan at 36.4 degrees North Latitude and 71.2 degrees East Longitude. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that earthquake epicenter was 282 kms NE off Kabul in Afghanistan. Any quake over 200 km depth has potential to wreak massive damage on surface, according to experts. Also, however, since the epicenter was in a less populated area, the damage is not expected to be widespread or heavy in terms of loss of human life and destruction to property.

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In Pakistan, atleast 6 people have been killed – two people died in Buner and Swat areas of KP province, while one died in Diamer area of Gilgit-Baltistan region, an official of the National Disaster Management Authority said, and added 28 people were reported injured in the provincial capital Peshawar alone. The entire area in North India including Kashmir, Leh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh have been shaken by quake.
According to reports, tremors were also felt in Madhya Pradesh towns like Gwalior, Bhind, Morena and Bhopal, but did not last for long. The actual timing was 3.59 p.m. at the very spot of the quake in Hindukush.
“The earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale at a depth of 190 km hit Hindukush mountain region at 3:58 PM,” said J L Gautam, Operations Head of National Centre for Seismology in Delhi.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was in Delhi Secretariat at the time when the tremors were felt tweeted, “earthquake!!! It was really scary! I could see plants and furniture shaking at 6th floor office of Delhi secretariat. Wish all is well”.

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The Hindukush area bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan is a seismically active area, with quakes often felt across the region. Just over a decade ago, a 7.6-magnitude quake in another part of northern Pakistan killed about 75,000 people.
Delhi Metro had halted its services due to the heavy intensity of the earthquake. The Metro authorities said that according to a pre-arranged plan, train services are stopped for 2 minutes and thereafter, when the services resume, train speed is reduced considerably. “Service were halted briefly after the quake but we resumed operations soon after,” a Delhi Metro official said.

Wefornews Bureau

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