11 dead as powerful earthquake rattles Afghanistan, Pakistan and India
Nine people were killed in Pakistan and two in neighbouring Afghanistan.
At least 11 people were killed and hundreds were injured after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled Pakistan, Afghanistan and India on Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported.
The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake’s epicentre was near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan and had a depth of 187 kilometers.
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department, however, put the magnitude of the quake slightly higher at 6.8 and later reported a 3.7 aftershock in the Hindu Kush mountain range along the country’s border with Afghanistan.
Bilal Faizi, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s emergency services, and other officials told AP that nine people were killed when the roofs of their respective homes collapsed in various parts of the country.
Police officer Shafiullah Gandapur told Dawn that 150 persons were injured in the northern Pakistani district of Swat and being moved to hospital for treatment.
Shafiullah Rahimi, a spokesperson for Afghanistan’s disaster mitigation ministry, told Reuters that two people were killed in Laghman province because of the earthquake.
Around 20 others were reported to be injured. “Unfortunately, there could be more casualties as the quake was so powerful, in most parts of the country,” said Sharafat Zaman Amar, Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the public health ministry.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the Ministry of Public Health has asked all health centers to be on standby.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the country’s disaster management officials to remain vigilant to deal with any emergency.
The earthquake, which lasted for at least 30 seconds, had many people fleeing their homes in all the three countries.
“The quake was so strong and terrifying, we thought houses are collapsing on us, people were all shouting and were shocked,” Shafiullah Azimi, a resident in the Afghan capital of Kabul, told AP.
Another Kabul resident said he and all his neighbors had stayed out of their homes for hours, afraid of aftershocks. “In my life this was first time I have experienced such powerful quake, everyone was terrified,” 45-year-old Aziz Ahmad said.
In India, the earthquake was felt across the northern region, including Delhi-National Capital Region, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. So far, there are no reports of damage or loss of life in the region.
Jagdish Patwal, a resident of a high-rise apartment in Noida, said, “The sofa, fan were shaking and people climbed down from the 20th floor.”