Massive earthquake hits Pakistan: At least 209 dead, scores injured

KARACHI: At least 209 people lost their lives and hundreds others sustained injuries in structures’ collapse and landslides caused by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake that jolted northern parts of Pakistan on Monday.

The enormity of the quake can be gauged from the fact that the tremors were felt alls across South Asia.

Majority of deaths were reported from Shangla while the death toll is feared to rise even further in view of the massiveness of this natural calamity.

The powerful quake caused a large number of walls, houses and other structures to cave in while many instances of land-sliding were also reported from some parts of the affected areas.

The earthquake was also felt in several parts of Punjab including Lahore where thousands of people had to rush outside of their houses, shops, offices and other structures for safety. They said ‘never before an earthquake had made us feel this much panic’.

Tremors were also felt in Islamabad, Sargodha, Kashmir and several other parts of the country.

According to Commissioner Malakand, 137 people died in Swat-Malakand division while 835 suffered injuries. He said as many as 813 houses collapsed in Malakand.

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan said the intenstity of today’s earthquake seemd much greater compared to that of 2005.

The US Geological Survey put the epicentre near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kilometres.

The Met Office in Pakistan said the magnitude was 8.1 on the Richter scale.

The epicentre is just a few hundred kilometres from the site of a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million more.

The earthquake was said to be one of the most powerful ever recorded in Pakistan’s history.

Quake in Afghanistan and India

Thousands of frightened people rushed into the streets across Afghanistan and India as the quake rocked a swathe of the subcontinent. Shockwaves were felt in areas as far away as New Delhi in India and Kabul in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of people raced from buildings onto the streets in different cities while the quake was also felt in the Kashmir region.

Source: The News