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6.9 magnitude earthquake hits central Asia; 37 injured in Pakistan, tremors in Kashmir
Saturday December 26, 2015 9:39 AM, IANS

Islamabad/Srinagar: At least 37 people were injured when an earthquake measuring 6.9 on Richter Scale jolted Pakistani capital Islamabad and parts of east Punjab in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Geo News said.

Tremors were also felt in the national capital and Kashmir.

The capital city Peshawar of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was the worst-hit area from where the all 37 casualties were reported, Xinhua quoted Urdu news channel Geo as saying.

The provincial authorities have imposed a state of emergency in all the three major hospitals in Peshawar and in neighbouring Nowshera district to facilitate the injured people.

Ghulam Rasool, Director General of Pakistan, said that the quake's focal depth was 197 km in the Hindukush mountain ranges along Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.

He said that the earthquake's duration was 59 seconds in parts of the country, adding that several mild to moderate aftershocks hit the country in the next few hours.

Meanwhile, reports coming from Jammu and Kashmir said an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale jolted Kashmir on Saturday causing widespread fear and panic.

"An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale occurred at 12.44 a.m. The epicentre of the tremor was in the Hindukush region of Afghanistan," an official of the Met department said here.

"Its coordinates were latitude 36.5 degrees north and longitude 71.2 degrees east. The depth of the quake was 186 Kilometres," the official added.

People were jolted out of sleep after tremors were felt in Srinagar. In Jammu, residents were in the grip of fear due to the earthquake.

"I Thought some massive explosion had occurred outside our house," a Jammu resident said.

No loss of life has been reported from anywhere in the state so far.

"It is too early to say as the earthquake occurred after midnight. We are gathering information to be absolutely certain," said a senior officer of the state government.

More than 45,000 people were killed across divided Kashmir and properties worth billions destroyed in a 7.6 magnitude temblor that hit Jammu and Kashmir on October 8, 2005.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that the earthquake's magnitude was 6.2 and its focal depth was 203 km in Ashkasham area of Afghanistan.


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