A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.7, with its epicentre at Hindukush region near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, hit parts of North India and Pakistan.
A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.7, with its epicentre at Hindukush region near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, hit parts of North India and Pakistan on Monday.
Representational image. Reuters
The earthquake epicentred in the Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan struck at around 2.40 pm, sending ripples across several states like Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, reported PTI.
People frantically rushed out of their houses and offices as the ground shook. In the national capital, metro sevrices were briefly halted.
In Srinagar, residents said they saw the buildings "swinging", remindig them of the devastating quake in 2005.
The Delhi Metro had been temporarily halted after the tremors were felt in the region.
The US Geological Survey said the epicentre lay 45 km south-southwest of Jarm in Afghanistan, around 240 km from capital Kabul. It put the intensity at 7.7 on the Richter scale. USGS also said that the depth of the earthquake was 213 km.
The Pakistani meteorological department put the intensity even higher - at 8.1, reported IANS.
Phone lines are down in Srinagar, according to TV reports. Reports have also said that the tremors felt across north India lasted for more than 5 minutes.
PM Narendra Modi tweeted on the earthquake, saying India was ready to provide full support to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted, asking people to remain calm. He also said that disaster management teams have been activated.
A senior metro official also said that metro services have resumed although trains are running at a very slow pace.
"Metro services were put on hold from 2.40 pm to 2.55 pm in view of the earthquake. Thereafter, train services were brought to normal routine after ensuring safety check of the structures," the official said.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DG OP Singh also spoke to CNN-IBN and said 24 teams have been put on alert to deal with the crisis.
"We are trying to contact the officials in J&K. We have alerted battalions in Bhatinda and Ghaziabad. 24 teams are on alert. We'll immediately respond to this crisis," Sigh said.
On the situation in Kashmir, Singh said that the power is completely down there. "We are still trying to get in touch with those people," he said.
(With agency inputs)