Earthquake: The Death rises to nine in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD/KABUL: A strong earthquake jolted many parts of Pakistan on Tuesday evening, resulting in at least nine deaths and 44 injuries, according to reports.
The United States Geological Survey stated that the earthquake, measuring 6.5 in magnitude, centered in the Hindu Kush mountains near the Jurm village in northeastern Afghanistan. However, the earthquake’s depth of 187 kilometers mitigated the extensive damage.
However, the depth of 187 kilometers mitigated extensive damage.
The quake, which struck around 09:30 pm on Tuesday and lasted more than 30 seconds, was felt from central Asia to New Delhi in India — more than 2,000 km away.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre reported that some 285 million people in Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan felt the earthquake.
“It was a powerful earthquake and we feared maximum damage due to the intensity — that’s why we issued an alert,” Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s emergency Rescue 1122 service in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told AFP.
“But fortunately our fears proved wrong. Residents panicked due to the magnitude of the earthquake, but the damage was minimal”.
Senior provincial official Abdul Basit reported that the earthquake had caused damage to at least 19 houses, in addition to causing fatalities and injuries.
Huge cracks that appeared in Khudadad Heights, a vast multi-storey residential block in Islamabad, prompted the evacuation of the building.
“The children started shouting that there is an earthquake. We all ran out. The horrors of the earthquake in Turkey and neighbouring countries had a strong effect on our nerves,” said Ikhlaq Kazmi, a retired professor in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government:
According to officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the earthquake claimed the lives of nine people, including two women and two children.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the National Disaster Management Authority to be ready to deal with any emergency.
According to reports from different parts of the country, people in several cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Charsadda, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, felt the earthquake’s tremors.
After the earthquake, frightened people fled their homes and came out in the open.
Shahidullah Khan, a senior government official, told AFP that hospitals across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province received at least 180 people who suffered minor injuries due to the earthquake.
In Swat, police officer Shafiullah Gandapur confirmed that a 13-year-old girl died when the wall of her house collapsed due to the earthquake. Additionally, 150 people sustained injuries throughout the district. Gandapur also declared a state of emergency at the district hospitals.
The PDMA in Punjab stated that the earthquake had jolted over 18 districts, but there were no reports of any loss of life. However, a PDMA spokesperson said that cracks had appeared in some high-rise buildings in Rawalpindi.
Panicked residents of cities and towns in Afghanistan and Pakistan also fled their homes to seek safety away from buildings — with many too scared to return.
In Afghanistan, officials reported four dead and 50 injured — but phone and internet links to remote parts of the country had been severed and communication patchy.
Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said health centres across the country had been put on high alert.
In the Afghan capital Kabul, shopkeeper Noor Mohammad Hanifi set up tents in the street for his family to spend the night in.
“Nobody dares to go inside their homes,” Hanifi told AFP as his family, cloaked in blankets, took shelter.
“We stayed the night in our courtyard… it was cold outside, but we preferred to stay out rather than go back,” 24-year-old student Neda Raihan told AFP in Kabul.
Many families were out of their homes celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, when the quake struck.
“I heard people screaming and yelling as they came out in the streets,” said Masieh, who was outside with his family when the tremor hit.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country.
The country’s reliance on international development funding dried up, and its foreign-held assets were frozen after the Taliban’s takeover.
Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pushing north into the Eurasian plate. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan killed more than 1,000 people last year. In 2005, at least 73,000 people are died in 7.6 magnitude quake that struck northern Pakistan.
Published on Logical Baat, March 22, 2023.