ISLAMABAD: Mild tremors were felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday evening. No loss of life or property has been reported yet.
The jolts were experienced at 6:26pm due to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake originating 120km deep in the Tajikistan- Xinjiang border region.
Tremors were experienced in various Pakistani cities including Abbottabad, Nowshera, Buner, Malakand, Mingora and other parts of KP, apart from several areas of northern and central Punjab.
This was the second earthquake on Friday, though the one earlier was low intensity.
The National Seismic Monitoring Centre (NSMC) in Islamabad has reported that the first earthquake also originated very close to the epicentre of the earthquake in the evening.
“The one at noon on Friday was recorded at 3.9 on the Richter Scale, which is mild and the shock waves do not travel very far from the epicentre,” an NSMC official said.
He explained that earthquakes of magnitude five are considered moderate and those between five and six are considered moderate to heavy.
“However, any activity over magnitude six is considered very heavy or severe,” the official added.
A series of earthquakes have occurred in the Hindu Kush Mountains in the recent days but most have been low intensity and their shockwaves did not reach even Peshawar and Islamabad.
The last of these low intensity jolts in the Hindu Kush region was in Afghanistan on Oct 18 at 8:29 Pakistan time which was recorded at four on the Richter Scale.
However, three days earlier a 5.3 magnitude quake occurred in northern Xinjiang, China on Oct 16, at the depth of 20 kilometres, but its tremors too were not felt in Pakistan.
The authorities say that the waves of deep quakes travel vast distances, whereas shallow activity has a limited impact.
“Today’s earthquake had an intensity of 5.3 magnitude but it was 120km deep which allowed the waves to travel to distances beyond Islamabad,” the NSMC official said.
The south of the country also experienced tremors and a magnitude 4.5 earthquake was felt in western Balochistan on Oct 17 which originated in southeast Iran.
On Oct 4, parts of Balochistan and Sindh, including Karachi, were hit by a locally originating earthquake of 4.5 magnitude, the epicentre of which was 12km deep on the Sindh-Balochistan border.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan was chairing a meeting of party spokespersons when the earthquake happened.
A source in the PTI said most participants of the meeting stood to leave.
However, the prime minister decided to continue with the meeting.
The source said security staff deputed with the premier told him to come out of the room. He is reported to have said he will not leave the room because the tremors can be felt both inside and outside the room.
The PTI has a number of spokespersons who represent it in various TV talk shows and during meetings, they inform the premier about their performance and the challenges they face.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018