close
Saturday May 25, 2024

6.8 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Pakistan

Tremors continued for 30 seconds; several people sustain injuries in quake-related incidents

By M Waqar Bhatti & Web Desk
March 22, 2023
— AFP/File
— AFP/File

A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake jolted parts of Pakistan on Tuesday night, leaving dead at least nine people, including two women, and injuring over 160 others, authorities said. 

The deceased in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa include five men, two women and as many children, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority KP.

At least 44 people were injured in various accidents that took place as a result of the earthquake, stated the PDMA report. The report indicates that at least 19 houses across the province have been partially damaged. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Relief, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Department Abdul Basit and DG PDMA Sharif Hussain visited the Emergency Operation Centre. Rescue 1122 provided timely medical care to the injured and transported them to nearby hospitals, said the secretary relief.

The secretary also directed the district administration, Rescue and Civil Defence to remain alert for the relief and rescue operation. The secretary further said the PDMA is in constant touch with the district administrations and concerned institutions in all the districts.

The situation is being continuously monitored, he said, advising the citizens to report any untoward incident at helpines 1700 or 1122. 

According to reports, tremors were felt in Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, DI Khan, Swabi, Bahawalpur, Quetta, Parachinar, Skardu and other cities of the country. 

The quake also caused damage to many buildings and structures.

The tremors continued for 30 seconds after which people came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran.

Police officials said that a 13-year-old girl was killed after her house wall collapsed in Swat. One more person was killed in the roof house collapse which also left two more people wounded, they added.

The police also said that a total of 50 injured were brought to Saidu Sharif hospital in Swat. Meanwhile, rescue officials said that a total of 43 people were injured in various accidents related to the earthquake in Lower Dir.

The epicentre of the earthquake was Afghanistan's Hindu Kush region, while its depth was 180 kilometres, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The tremor was also felt in New Delhi, according to Indian reports.

In twin cities — Islamabad and Rawalpindi — cracks emerged in various high-rise commercial and residential buildings and flats, triggering panic among the residents.

Meanwhile, teams of the city administration are visiting the areas to inspect the affected buildings and facilitate the citizens.

In light of the powerful tremors felt in several parts of the country, Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel issued an emergency alert at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) as well as Federal Government Polyclinic.

“The hospital administration should ensure advance measures to deal with any emergency situation,” he said.

According to a spokesperson of the health department, a man suffered cardiac arrest during the quake in Islamabad's Sector G-7. He was brought to the Polyclinic Hospital but could not survive.

An initial report from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that two people were killed while six were injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Meanwhile, eight houses were partially damaged. The provincial health department imposed an emergency in the hospitals.

Woman dies in Lower Dir wall collapse

A woman died when a wall of her house collapsed in Lower Dir, making it the first causality in the moderate earthquake that jolted most parts of the country.

According to police, the incident took place in Dheri area of Lower Dir. The hospital sources confirmed that a woman died after the wall of her house fell on her due to the tremors.

Several injured in quake-related incidents

Several people sustained injuries in earthquake-related incidents across the county, however, no death is reported so far.

According to police, seven people were brought to the district hospital in the Timergara area of Lower Dir. Most of the people were injured in a stampede during the earthquake, the official added.

During the tremors, the roof of a house caved in Jamrud. No causality was reported in the incident, the police confirmed.

Praying for the well-being of the people, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other institutions to be ready to deal with any emergency.

It is pertinent to mention here that a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan and Pakistan last year in June. The earthquake killed over 1,000 and injured more than 600 people in Afghanistan.

The quake had struck about 44km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, the US Geological Survey (USGC) said.

Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the EMSC said.

In Pakistan, tremors were felt in Islamabad, Multan, Bhakkar, Phalia, Peshawar, Malakand, Swat, Mianwali, Pakpattan, and Buner, among other places. Its depth was recorded at 44km, while its epicentre was southwest of Khost in Afghanistan.