ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) – A powerful earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude has struck major cities of Pakistan, including the northern areas, on Monday, 26 October. The epicenter was reportedly in the Hindukush region of Afghanistan.
Tremors were felt in major cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad Peshawar, Quetta, Kohat, Malakand and the mountainous region of Hunza and Chitral.
Pakistani officials said that at least 147 people were killed and nearly 600 others wounded across the country due to roof and building collapses in northwestern Pakistan. While local media reports claim over 250 people have died in Pakistan.
Six people, including children, were killed in Swat, while four people were killed in the Bajaur Agency after the buildings collapsed in the area. An eight-year-old child was killed in Kallar Kahar, whereas one casualty was also reported from Kasur after the roof of a house collapsed.
A government school’s wall collapsed in Sargodha, killing one woman and injuring 10 people.
At least 194 injured were brought to Swat’s Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital, which does not have adequate medical facilities. More than 100 wounded have been admitted to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital.
Rescue 1122 has been put on high alert in Punjab. The disaster response force is on standby and a code red has been imposed, Director General Rescue Punjab Brig (r) Dr Ashraf Zia said.
Communication services have been disrupted in several cities in Pakistan.
Powerful earthquake shakes Pakistan, Afghanistan and India
A powerful earthquake has shaken Himalayan region, with more than two minutes of sustained shaking felt in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Monday afternoon.
The U.S. Geological Survey said earthquake of 7.5 magnitude struck northeastern Afghanistan, shaking the capital Kabul and sending shockwaves that were felt in north Pakistan and India.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department, however, said the magnitude of the earthquake was 8.1.
The quake struck 254 kilometers (158 miles) north of Kabul at a depth of 213 kilometers at 2:39 p.m. Indian time, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The USGS initially measured the quake’s intensity at 7.7 then revised it down to 7.6 and later to 7.5.
The region has a history of powerful earthquakes.
In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir left more than 75,000 people dead.
In April this year, Nepal suffered its worst earthquake on record with 9,000 people killed and about 900,000 homes damaged or destroyed.