5.3 magnitude earthquake jolts northern parts of country

5.3 magnitude earthquake jolted northern parts of the country on Saturday, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The PMD said the earthquake struck at 6:15pm in the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border region at a depth of 180 kilometres.

Tremors were felt in Swat, Peshawar, Lower Dir, Swabi, Nowshera, Chitral, Mardan, Bajaur, Malakand, Pabbi, Akora, Islamabad and its surroundings.

People left their homes in panic for safer places but no loss of life and property was reported.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority also said its control room had not received any reports of loss of lives or property. It added that its control room was fully functional and urged citizens to report any untoward incident to its helpline at 1700.

Meanwhile, Indian news agency ANI reported that the earthquake’s effects were felt in Indian-occupied Kashmir as well at 6:45pm.

On December 8, parts of Karachi were jolted by a 4.1 magnitude earthquake. According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, the earthquake’s epicentre was 15km north of DHA Karachi and had a depth of 15km.

In October, at least 15 people were killed while more than 150 were injured after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck parts of Balochistan.

The worst-affected area was the remote mountainous district of Harnai, where landslides blocked some roads, hampering rescue efforts. Harnai district, 95km northeast of Quetta, bore the brunt of the quake where casualties occurred and hundreds of mud-houses collapsed or were damaged, rendering thousands of people homeless.