A powerful earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan. The tremors were felt in northern India, Tajikistan and even Kyrgyzstan. It was 213 km (132 miles) deep and the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad. It was initially measured of the magnitude-7.7 then revised down to 7.5, reports the US Geological Survey, Joinfo.ua reports citing BBC.
As a result of the earthquake about 40 people were killed in Pakistan, about 20 deaths recorded in Afghanistan. The death toll could rise because the communications remains down in mountain range area of Hindu Kush where the quake was centered.
Buildings have been evacuated and communications disrupted in the capitals of the three countries and many other areas.
In Afghan school of Takhar province at least 12 of girls were killed and another 25 students were injured in a stampede as they tried to get out of their building. Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 35 killed in total.
In Pakistan, the military said 123 people were known to have died in the north of the country, mostly in the Malakand region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has shortened his visit abroad and is returning home.
People in the Indian capital Delhi ran into the streets after the quake, and schools and offices were evacuated. The Delhi metro was also briefly halted.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had ordered an urgent assessment of any damage.
“We stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan and Pakistan,” – he said in a statement.
The earthquake of 2005 in Kashmir was magnitude 7.6 and it was more devastating, because its center was just 26km deep. Today’s quake, at a depth of more than 200km, appears to have caused widespread but less severe ground shaking.