6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan

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Earthquake
People gather outside buildings after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on December 20, 2019. - A strong earthquake rattled Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 20 afternoon, the US Geological Survey said, forcing residents into the streets in Islamabad and Kabul. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

The northern areas of the country were jolted by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Friday, according to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre in Islamabad.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 210km with the epicentre in a sparsely populated, remote mountain area in Badakhshan province in the northeast of Afghanistan, said the USGS, which put the quake at 6.1 on the Richter Scale.

Among the cities in Pakistan where “strong” tremors were felt, were Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Murree, Mansehra, Battagram, Chiniot, and Gilgit-Baltistan, DawnNewsTV reported.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi pictured standing outside the Foreign Office. — DawnNewsTV

According to the USGS, two short tremors in quick succession forced residents into the streets in Kabul and Islamabad. However, there were no immediate reports of damage.

Parliamentarians vacated the Parliament House where a session was underway and officials from the Foreign Office also stepped outside, according to DawnNewsTV.

The USGS estimated there would be few economic losses from the quake, with “a low likelihood of casualties and damage. “

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson Taimur Ali said the PDMA officials are in contact with district disaster units and district administration and that so far no loss to life or property has been reported.

He said that the tremors created fear and panic across the KP and mountainous area of Malakand division.

According to IndiaToday, tremors were also felt in Delhi and the northern parts of India, including Mathura, Lucknow, Prayagraj, and India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

A powerful 5.6-magnitude earthquake had jolted several cities and northern parts of the country in September, leaving at least 38 people dead and over 300 others injured.

(Courtesy: Dawn)

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