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Quake rattles Pak, India gets jitters

ibnlive.com
Apr 03, 2007 at 01:05pm IST

New Delhi: A strong earthquake rattled parts of Pakistan early on Tuesday morning, sending tremors in Jammu and Kashmir and mild jolts across north India including Capital New Delhi.

According to officials, the magnitude of the earthquake - that struck at 0904 hrs (IST) - was 5.9 on the Richter scale and epicentre was somewhere in the Hindukush range in Afghanistan, nearly 900 km from Delhi.

The US Geological Survey website put the magnitude of the quake at 6.2 on the Richter scale and said it hit near Feyzabad in Afghanistan.

"The magnitude of the earthquake is 5.9 on the Richter scale The earthquake was felt in 36.9 degree North and 70.6 degree East," confirmed Director, Seismology Department, R S Duttatreham.

No damage reported yet

There were no immediate reports of any damage from near the epicentre and agencies report that in Kabul, hundreds of people were seen running from their homes.

The jolt sent people panicking out on the streets both in Pakistan capital Islamabad and in J&K capital Srinagar.

While people in Pakistan were said to have felt at least two tremors, in India only one tremor was felt.

But like in Afghanistan, there were no reports of any damage to life and property in Pakistan and India as well.

“We felt two tremors this morning. We haven’t yet received any reports of damage. Tremors were felt Muzaffarabad PoK and central Pakistan but there are no reports of damage yet. The reports are still awaited and we are trying to assess the damages if any,” PTI correspondent in Pakistan K J M Verma told CNN-IBN.

India jolted

According to CNN-IBN Srinagar correspondent Shamim Meraj, the tremor was felt around 0908 hrs (IST) and sent windows and doors of the buildings in the city rattling.

People were seen rushing out of their houses and power supply was cut off as a precautionary measure.

However, in Jammu things calmed down after initial panic and people returned to work. CNN-IBN correspondent Pawan Bali reports the city's phone lines were disconnected for sometime.

Mild tremors were also felt in parts of New Delhi. "The tremors were felt around 9:00 a.m. and lasted for about five to six seconds," a resident of East Delhi was quoted as saying.

According to reports from Himachal Pradesh, the tremor was felt in the Chamba and Dharamshala regions of the state.

People in several parts of Punjab, including Chandigarh

and Jalandhar also felt the tremors

Grim reminder

Tuesday's tremors sent a grim reminder of the Kashmir earthquake of 2005 that killed nearly 18,000 people across India and Pakistan and rendered thousands homeless.

The killer quake had its epicenter in the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and registered 7.6 on the Richter scale.

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE REPORT
Region HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
Geographic coordinates 36.528N, 70.667E
Magnitude 6.2 Mw
Depth 210 km
Universal Time (UTC) 3 Apr 2007 03:35:06
Time near the Epicenter 3 Apr 2007 08:05:06

<table width="248" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="2"> <tr bgcolor="#AE111D"> <td height="20" valign="middle" bgcolor="#DB1524"><div align="center"><strong class="Wtext11">THE EPICENTRE</strong></div></td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />Authorities in Faizabad, the capital of Afghanistan's Badakhshan province and the town nearest the epicentre, were trying to contact outlying districts to assess damage and casualties, Deputy Governor Shams-Urahman said.</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" /> Badakhshan province is about 300 km (200 miles) northeast of the capital, Kabul, and residents felt shaking buildings and some windows were shattered. There were no immediate casualty reports.</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />''It was a very strong earthquake. My room was shaking and the light was swinging back and forth,'' the provincial police chief of Badakhshan, Agha Noor Kemtoz was quoted by agencies as saying. Badakhshan shares a border with Pakistan, Tajikistan and China. </td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />The mud-walled houses of this impoverished part of Afghanistan are vulnerable to quakes, and their structures will have been further weakened by heavy rainfall in recent days.</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />The region is inaccessible at the best of times, but after heavy snow and rainfall many mountain roads were cut by landslides and bridges were swept away by torrents.</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />Thousands of people were killed by two earthquakes in Badakhshan province in the late 1990s. <i>(Courtesy: AP, Reuters)</i></td> </tr> </table>

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