6.8 magnitude quake hits north India, China, Pakistan; 3 feared dead, 28 injured

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Earthquake in Delhi: A powerful 6.8 magnitude quake on Richter scale rocked north India including Chandigarh, Kashmir and other areas in region — the initial tremor felt was at 4.01 pm in Delhi. The earthquake was earlier said to be of 7.1 magnitude. According to a report one person has died due to the quake.

A powerful 6.8 magnitude quake on Richter scale rocked north India including Chandigarh, Kashmir and other areas in region — the initial tremor felt was at 4.01 pm in Delhi. The earthquake was earlier said to be of 7.1 magnitude. According to a report 3 people died due to the quake. The quake hit not just India, but also Afghanistan, Pakistan and even China. The temblor had its epicentre in the Hindukush mountain range of Afghanistan at 36.4 degrees North Latitude and 71.2 degrees East Longitude. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that earthquake epicentre was 282 kms NE off Kabul in Afghanistan. Any quake over 200 km depth has potential to wreak massive damage on surface, according to experts. Also, however, since the epicentre was in a sparsely populated area, the damage is not expected to be widespread or heavy in terms of loss of human life and destruction to property. Germany’s GFZ Research Center for Geosciences set the quake’s magnitude at 6.5 on Richter scale.

In Pakistan, two people died in Buner and Swat areas of KP province, while one died in Diamer area of Gilgit-Baltistan region, an official of the National Disaster Management Authority said, and added 28 people were reported injured in the provincial capital Peshawar.

The entire area in North India including Kashmir, Leh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh have been shaken.

Anudeep Goraya, a college teacher in Phagwara in Punjab, said most of the people, who were taking rest since it was a Sunday, ran out of their houses after the tremors. Residents of local mohallas, including SBS Nagar Scheme No 3, also came out of their houses.

According to reports, tremors were also felt in Madhya Pradesh towns like Gwalior, Bhind, Morena and Bhopal, but did not last for long. The actual timing was 3.59 p.m. at the very spot of the quake in Hindukush.

“The earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale at a depth of 190 km hit Hindukush mountain region at 3:58 PM,” said J L Gautam, Operations Head of National Centre for Seismology in Delhi.

A precursor of the actual earthquake on Sunday, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the region was shaken on Friday last by at least four distinct tremors, ranging in intensity from 3.3 to 5.3 on the Richter scale, the strongest of which was felt in parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa such as Malakand and Swat.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was in Delhi Secretariat when the tremors were felt tweeted, “earthquake!!! It was really scary! I could see plants and furniture shaking at 6th floor office of Delhi secretariat. Wish all is well”.

Delhi Fire Department and police officials said control rooms have not received any calls reporting major damage or collapse of any buildings.

According to a Reuters report the earthquake was centred around Chitral in Pakistan at a depth of 210 km (130 miles). The epicenter of the earthquake was in Tectonic region called Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan – the quake happened at 280 km depth. The quake has hit Pakistan, Afghanistan and India and China.

People in the Pakistani city of Lahore, 630 km from the epicentre, also reported they had felt the tremors. A witness in Chitral said the tremor was strong but there was no major damage visible. People across these areas rushed out of their homes in panic. Tremors were felt in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Swat Valley, Chitral, and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

The Hindukush 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.

Delhi Metro had stopped its services due to the heavy intensity of the earthquake. The Metro authorities say that according to a pre-arranged plan, train services are stopped for 2 minutes and thereafter, when the services resume, train speed is reduced considerably. “Service were halted briefly after the quake but we resumed operations soon after,” a Delhi Metro official said.

In Mohali, near Chandigarh, where IPL 2016 match is to be played, player Aaron Finch tweeted how the event played out where he is staying. He says the hotel where he is staying has been evacuated.

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