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Strong quake jolts Pakistan, Afghanistan

July 12, 2012


ISLAMABAD, July 12: The central and northern parts of the country were rattled by a strong earthquake and several other tremors on Thursday.

The quakes originated in the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan, according to the website of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) which posted data released by the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, Karachi.

The tremors were felt in Islamabad-Rawalpindi region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and even as far away as Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab. However, no loss of life or property was reported till late in the night.

According to the PMD website, the first quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck at around 7pm. The second quake measured 5.1 on the same scale and struck about seven minutes later. There were at least two other quakes that were of light intensity.

A source at the Met office said that several quakes had originated in the Hindu Kush region in recent days. “However, we need not worry about this. This is a remote mountainous area and minor earthquakes are a routine matter there,” he remarked. Only major quakes cause damage in Pakistan, he added.

AFP adds: Buildings shook in the Afghan capital as an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude struck in the Hindu Kush region, according to a preliminary report by the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the remote region, but two slightly smaller quakes last month triggered landslides that killed at least 75 villagers.

In Kabul, office workers felt their chairs shake briefly and desk lamps swayed as the tremor hit.

The quake struck some 72km southeast of Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan province, and 121km northwest of Chitral in Pakistan at a depth of 190km, the USGS said.

Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush.