Strong earthquake rocks Afghanistan, also felt in Pakistan, India

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck South Asia on Sunday, shaking buildings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, witnesses and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, although there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The USGS announced the magnitude of Afghanistan quake at 6.6 in Richter scale, with its epicenter at Ashkasham village of the northeastern province of Badakhshan. Whereas the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) announced the magnitude as 6.8.

Residents left their homes in Kabul and Islamabad when the quake struck, with buildings swaying for well over a minute in both capitals. Similar reports were received from across northern and central Pakistan. People in the Pakistani city of Lahore, 630 km from the epicentre, also reported they had felt the tremors.

A 7.5-magnitude quake struck the area on Oct. 26 last year, killing more than 300 people and destroying thousands of homes.

In Kabul, Omar Mohammadi, a spokesman for the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, said officials were collecting information but no reports of casualties or damage had been received so far.

Tremors were also felt in the Indian capital Delhi and in Kashmir, witnesses said, with some people working in high-rise buildings in the Indian capital rushing into the streets. The Delhi underground system was also halted briefly, commuters told the NDTV channel.

The Hindu Kush area bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan is a seismically active area, with quakes often felt across the region. Just over a decade ago, a 7.6-magnitude quake in another part of northern Pakistan killed about 75,000 people.

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