6.4-magnitude earthquake rocks northern Pakistan, Afghanistan

Published December 20, 2019
People gather outside buildings after an earthquake in Islamabad on Friday. — AFP
People gather outside buildings after an earthquake in Islamabad on Friday. — AFP

The northern areas of the country, as well as parts of Afghanistan, were jolted by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Friday, according to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre in Islamabad.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 210km with the epicentre in a sparsely populated, remote mountain area in Badakhshan province in the northeast of Afghanistan, said the USGS, which put the quake at 6.1 on the Richter Scale.

According to a damage assessment report released by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), a child was injured and a house damaged in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The 4-year-old boy from Hatandara village received injuries when a boundary wall collapsed.

PDMA spokesperson Taimur Ali said the PDMA officials are in contact with district's disaster units and administration. So far no loss of life has been reported.

He said that the tremors created fear and panic across the KP and mountainous area of Malakand division.

Among the cities in Pakistan where "strong" tremors were felt, were Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Murree, Mansehra, Battagram, Chiniot, and Gilgit-Baltistan, DawnNewsTV reported.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi pictured standing outside the Foreign Office. — DawnNewsTV
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi pictured standing outside the Foreign Office. — DawnNewsTV

According to the USGS, two short tremors in quick succession forced residents into the streets in Kabul and Islamabad.

Parliamentarians vacated the Parliament House in Islamabad where a session was underway and officials from the Foreign Office also stepped outside, according to DawnNewsTV.

The USGS estimated there would be few economic losses from the quake, with “a low likelihood of casualties and damage. “

According to IndiaToday, tremors were also felt in Delhi and the northern parts of India, including Mathura, Lucknow, Prayagraj, and India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

A powerful 5.6-magnitude earthquake had jolted several cities and northern parts of the country in September, leaving at least 38 people dead and over 300 others injured.

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