Pakistan, India and Afghanistan rocked by earthquake

Pakistan, India and Afghanistan rocked by earthquakeA powerful earthquake has struck south Asia, with tremors felt in northern Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

More than two minutes of sustained tremors were felt in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The quake also hit the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad and the mountainous region of Chitral.

Office workers reportedly poured out of their buildings, including in the Afghan capital of Kabul where UN workers rushed outside to safety.

Vineet Gahlot, director of seismology at the Indian Meteorological Department, has told the Associated Press that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7 and an epicenter was deep in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.

The provincial director of the national disaster management authority, Abdullah Humayoon Dehqan, has said “there are reports of casualties and destruction” in some remote districts of Badakhshan.

The Associated Press reports that power was cut across much of Kabul, where tremors were felt for around 45 seconds. Houses shook, walls cracked and cars rolled in the street. Officials in the capital could not be immediately reached as telephones appeared to be cut across the country.

In Pakistan, Zahid Rafiq, an official with the meteorological department, said the quake was felt across the country. In Islamabad, buildings shook and people poured into the streets in a panic, with many reciting verses from the Quran.

“I was praying when the massive earthquake rattled my home. I came out in a panic,” said Munir Anwar, a resident of Liaquat Pur in the eastern Punjab province.

The quake was also felt in the Indian capital New Delhi, though no damage was immediately reported. Office buildings swayed and workers who had just returned from lunch ran out of buildings and gathered in the street or in parking lots.

Via: Guardian
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