Tuesday Sep 24 2019
Web Desk

Strong earthquake jolts northern Pakistan: 26 dead, more than 300 wounded

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: A powerful earthquake jolted several parts of Pakistan on Tuesday, particularly areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the Home Department report, 26 people died, while more than 300 were wounded in Mirpur divison.

 According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers with its epicenter lying 1km southeast of Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Tremors were also felt in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Jhelum, Charsadda, Swat, Khyber, Abbottabad, Bajaur, Nowshera, Mansehra, Battagram, Torghar and Kohistan.

Deputy Commissioner AJK Raja Qaiser said that emergency has been imposed in hospitals. 

He further said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have been directed to carry out rescue operations and gather data on the damage done. 

Here's what to do after an earthquake

He said that the rescue teams have reached the affected area, adding that the situation is not the same as in 2005. 

Army Chief orders troops to participate in rescue activities

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed army troops to participate in rescue activities due to the earthquake in AJK and other affected areas, according to DG Inter-Services Public Relations Maj General Asif Ghafoor.

According to DG ISPR, the army chief directed army personnel to completely cooperate with the civil administration of AJK.

The DG ISPR said that Pakistan army’s aviation and medical teams have been dispatched to AJK and other earthquake-hit areas. 

Aftershocks expected

NDMA urges citizens to report loss or damage. — Geo News photo

According to NDMA notification released in wake of the calamity, aftershocks can be expected within the next 24 hours in the earthquake-hit areas.

The NDMA statement said that all the protective measures should be taken to lessen the impact. 

It further urged the public to share any losses or damage to the authority.

Details: Earthquake aftershocks likely in next 24 hours, warns NDMA

Mangla Dam powerhouse turbines being restarted after earthquake

The Mangla Dam has reportedly lost 900 megawatts' worth of power after a powerful earthquake hit Pakistan's northern areas, sources at the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) said after they were shut down earlier due to an earthquake-related safety scare.

The Mangla Dam and its powerhouse were safe, the sources said, adding that the turbines at the reservoir's powerhouse had been shut down as part of the precautions following an earthquake in Pakistan's northern areas and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Roads cracked open, houses damaged

Road cracked open in Mirpur due to earthquake. — Geo News photo

Due to the intensity of the earthquake, roads in Mirpur were cracked open.

The earthquake sent people of affected areas scurrying into the streets.

The earthquake damaged houses and buildings in Mirpur, while several cars fell into the deep cracks on the roads.  

A citizen also shared a harrowing video of the earthquake and the damage it caused to roads.

In pictures: Havoc wreaked by earthquake in northern Pakistan, AJK in pictures, videos

The earthquake is not the first to inflict damage to the northern areas. In 2005, a powerful quake left nearly 100,000 people killed and hundreds of thousands homeless besides destroying the basic infrastructure.

The 7.6 Richter-scale quake had killed more than 90,000 people and dislocated over 3.5 million, primarily in Azad Kashmir and Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.