At least 19 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on Tuesday after an earthquake jolted several cities in the northern parts of the country. including capital Islamabad even as mild tremors were felt in the Delhi and NCR region on Tuesday late afternoon.
According to US Geological Survey, the epicentre of quake was near New Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police in Mirpur, Sardar Gulfaraz Khan, told the media that at least 19 people were killed and over 300 injured in Mirpur and surrounding areas due to the powerful quake. Pakistan Meteorological Department's earthquake centre said the 5.8-magnitude earthquake was located near the mountainous city of Jehlum in Punjab province. Its depth was at 10 kilometres. However, Minister for Science Fawad Chaudhry said that the intensity of the quake was 7.1.
Some houses collapsed in Mirpur following the earthquake, Deputy Commissioner Raja Qaiser said. Parts of a mosque also collapsed in the area, which is severely affected by the quake. Emergency has been declared in hospitals across PoK. The Indian Meteorological Department reported that the quake was measured at 6.3 on the Richter Scale. The quake was powerful and created panic as people ran out of buildings, eyewitnesses said.
The injured were and shifted to a hospital in Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir after a building collapsed following the earthquake, Deputy Commissioner Raja Qaiser was quoted as saying by Geo News. Parts of a mosque collapsed in the area, which is severely affected by the quake. Emergency has been imposed in hospitals in PoK, the channel said.
TV channels showed the footage of heavily damaged roads in Mirpur, with many vehicles overturned. Several cars fell into the deep cracks on the roads.
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed "immediate rescue operation in aid of civil administration" for victims of earthquake in PoK. Army troops with aviation and medical support teams have been dispatched, the media wing of the army tweeted.
Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said that most of the damage was done in Mirpur and Jhelum. "We are assessing the damage to life and property," he said.
Several cities including Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Skardu, Kohat, Charsadda, Kasur, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Sialkot, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Okara, Nowshera, Attock and Jhang felt the tremor.
Pakistan's major water reservoir Mangla Dam located near Mirpur remained safe, officials said. Mangla dam power house has been closed, cutting off 900 MW power supply to the national grid, they said. Upper Jhelum canal was damaged and water inundated various villages. The quake lasted for 8 to 10 seconds, DawnNewsTV reported.
Tremors were felt on Tuesday in parts of North India including Delhi, NCR, Punjab and Haryana, Seismology Department officials said. The quake was felt around 4.30 pm, they said.
There was no immediate report of loss of life or property in India. Panic-stricken people rushed out of their homes and offices at some places in the region.
The IMD tweeted:
Earthquake of Magnitude:6.3, Occurred on:24-09-2019, 16:31:58 IST, Lat:32.9 N & Long: 73.7 E, Depth: 40 Km, Region: Pakistan - India (J & K ) Border region pic.twitter.com/tH6RDjGuxD
— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) September 24, 2019
News Nation special correspondent Purav Patel tweeted a video of the tremors in Delhi:
More details are awaited. With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2019 21:08:27 IST