Friday Feb 12, 2021
Earthquake tremors measuring a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter's scale were felt across several cities of Pakistan at 10:02 pm late Friday night, with Tajikistan's Murghab city reportedly being the epicentre.
According to reports, tremors were felt in Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Mardan, North Waziristan, Swat, Multan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, and Lahore.
The tremors were also felt in Killa Abdullah, Pishin, Toba Achakzai, Shangla, Buner, Malakand, Dir, and Chitral.
According to the Seismological Centre, the depth of the earthquake was measured at 80km. Citizens have been advised to be careful as the aftershocks of the earthquake are expected.
It is pertinent to mention here that such a high-intensity earthquake jolted Pakistan after 1.5 years, and during the previous incident, Azad Jammu and Kashmir suffered significant damages.
The U.S Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 and centred 35 km (55 miles) west of Tajikistan in central Asia.
Meanwhile, Rescue Punjab, speaking to Geo News, said that despite such a high-intensity earthquake, no casualties have so far been reported
Director-General Rescue Punjab has issued a high-alert, according to a spokesperson.
Similarly, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, rescue officials said that citizens could call 1700 to inform the authorities of any losses, adding that a few injuries were reported, but there have been no deaths.
In the adjacent areas of Muzaffarabad, the intensity of the tremors was intense, including Neelum, Jehlum, Bagh, Poonch, Mirpur, and other areas.
Police and rescue officials said that two people were injured so far in Bagh, however, no life losses were reported.
In Muzaffarabad, where a 2005 earthquake wreaked serious destruction, there was mass panic, according to witnesses and many rushed out of their homes in fear.
"I thought it's the same like what had hit us in 2005. My children started crying," said Asif Maqbool, a resident in Madina Market, a neighbourhood of Muzaffarabad that was almost flattened in the 2005 quake.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, Astore, Diamer, Hunza, and all four district of Baltistan were hit by the earthquake. People came out of their house and began prayers.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) spokesperson said the institution was in contact with all the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA).
"NDMA is in contact with all PDMAs and getting updates from across Pakistan," the spokesperson said, adding that no loss of life had been reported so far.
The NDMA, furthermore, said that it had put its emergency services on alert as well.
Responding to the development, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz prayed for people's safety and "hoped" that everyone was safe.
The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis also prayed for everyone's safety.
Meanwhile, in India, an earthquake of 6.1-magnitude struck Punjab at 10:34pm on Friday, sending tremors across north India, including Delhi-and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
However, there was no immediate report of property losses or casualties.
Cracks were reported in some homes in northern Occupied Kashmir, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A witness also reported a wall collapse near the northern Indian city of Amritsar, but there were no reports of casualties.
G. Suresh, a senior scientist at the IMD, told Reuters there were two earthquakes within 10 minutes in Tajikistan and Sichuan, China. An Indian government monitor had earlier said the quake was centred near Amritsar.
"The seismic waves have been mixed up in data monitoring," he said.
Tremors were felt across Pakistan including the capital, Islamabad, and northwestern Peshawar, and even as far as the eastern city of Lahore, which borders India.
— Additional input from Reuters