Strong earthquake hits parts of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck parts of Pakistan on Friday evening.

The Met Office said that jolts were felt in the capital Islamabad, parts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

It said the 6.4 magnitude quake originated at 10.02pm and its epicentre was Tajikistan. The earthquake struck at a depth of 80 kilometres, it added.

The Met Office issued a warning that aftershocks of minor intensity were expected.

The tremors caused panic in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Muzaffarabad and other areas, where people rushed out of their homes.

However, no casualties or loss of property were reported from any part of the country till late in the night. The exact situation in remote mountainous areas would be clear in the morning.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is in contact with all PDMAs and getting updates from across Pakistan, said Inter-Services Public Relations. So far no reports of any damage reported. NDMA is taking stock of the situation after earthquake and will keep informed the citizens, it added.

Reuters report said strong tremors were also felt in New Delhi and Srinagar. It said the US Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9 which centred at 35km west of Tajikistan.

It said cracks were reported in some houses in India-held Kashmir and a witness also reported a wall collapse near Amritsar, but there were no reports of casualties.

Dawn, February 13th, 2021