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Wednesday May 22, 2024

9 dead as 6.8 magnitude quake rattles Pakistan

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

By News Desk & our correspondents
March 22, 2023
People gather outside a mall following an earthquake in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 21, 2023. A strong earthquake lasting for at least 30 seconds was felt across much of Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India, with the United States Geological Survey putting the magnitude at 6.5.—AFP
People gather outside a mall following an earthquake in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 21, 2023. A strong earthquake lasting for at least 30 seconds was felt across much of Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India, with the United States Geological Survey putting the magnitude at 6.5.—AFP

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: A magnitude 6.8 quake Tuesday hit Pakistan lasting for at least 30 seconds and triggering massive fear.

As per PDMA reports, nine people lost lives and 44 were injured in different districts of the KP province in earthquake-related incidents.

Operations were underway all over KP to rescue people while a state of emergency was declared in hospitals.

Jolts were also felt across Afghanistan and parts of India.The US Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.5. The National Seismic Monitoring Center in Pakistan initially gave a reading of 7.7, which was revised down to 6.8 by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). The quake was generated at 9:47pm.

The USGS said the quake was centred near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan and had a depth of 187 kilometers (116 miles).

In Pakistan, tremors were felt in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Swabi, Parachinar, Nowshera, Kohat, Skardu, Toba Tek Singh, Khanewal, Lodhran, DG Khan, Bahawalpur and other areas of the country, local and international media reported.

Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pushing north into the Eurasian plate. “People ran out of their houses reciting the holy Quran,” an AFP correspondent in Rawalpindi said.In light of the powerful tremors, Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel issued an emergency alert at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) as well as the Federal Government Polyclinic. “The hospital administrations should ensure advance measures to deal with any emergency situation,” he said.

Several people sustained injuries across the country.

According to police, seven people were brought to the district hospital in Timergara area of Lower Dir. Most of the people were injured in a stampede during the earthquake. The roof of a house caved in Jamrud but no causality was reported.

The aftershocks continued for some time. A large number of people, including children, got scared. Ambulances were rushed immediately after the tremors hit most parts of the KP province.An official of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police said as per initial reports received at the operation room, one young girl died in Madyan when the roof of their house collapsed, while another girl died in Abbottabad due to shock and fear.

Many people were also injured and their data is being compiled.

Swat police chief Shafiullah Gandapur confirmed the loss of a 13-year-old girl and injuries to 150 people. The girl died in Madyan town when a wall of their house collapsed on her. According to the police officer, they had received reports of damages to properties in different parts of Swat Valley. “We received 150 injured and other are being shifted to the hospital but their condition is stable,” he said. Meanwhile, cracks appeared in various high-rise commercial and residential buildings and flats in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, triggering panic among the residents.