Massive earthquake Hits South Asia


A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake has struck in northern Afghanistan and was felt in a large area from northern Pakistan to India.

The US Geological Survey put the epicentre near Jarm in the country’s northeast, 250 kilometres from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 km.

Strong tremors were felt in New Delhi and Islamabad, residents told Al Jazeera.

At least four people died in Pakistan’s Swat region and Charsadda districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including two women, sources told Al Jazeera’s bureau in Islamabad. At least another 100 were injured, initial reports said.

Walls in Islamabad swayed back and forth and people poured out of office buildings in a panic, reciting verses from the Quran.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said reports of damage or casualties were trickling in.

“Here in Islamabad, we were forced to leave our building and the tremors were also felt in Peshawar and elsewhere, as far as India and Afghanistan.”

“The tremors continued for 30 to 40 seconds, which is alarming” our correspondent said, adding that authorities warned for strong after-shocks.

Vineet Gahlot, the director of seismology at the Indian Meteorological Department, said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7 and an epicenter deep in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.

Pakistan state TV reported the same magnitude.

Al Jazeera’s Nidhi Dutt, reporting from New Delhi, said many residents of the Indian capital had already moved back into their buildings.

“The city’s metro system was still down as part of the security measures,” Dutt reported

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