6.6 earthquake jolts South Asia, kills four in Pakistan

Px10-042 ISLAMABAD: Apr10 - Men seen standing away from buildings during earthquake which jolted many cities of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday afternoon. ONLINE PHOTO by Waseem Khan

At least four people were killed and many others injured in Pakistan as an earthquake measuring 6.6 on Richter scale struck South Asia on Sunday.

At least two people died when tremors caused a landslide on the Karakar mountain range connecting Swat and Buner, while two others passed away in Shahqadar Shahbaz Khan Korona of district Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when a boundary wall collapsed.

The earthquake hit parts of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa near the Afghan border, shaking buildings in the Afghan and Pakistan capitals, witnesses and the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The USGS said the quake was centred near Chitral at a depth of 210 km.

Tremors were also felt in the Indian capital New Delhi and in Kashmir, witnesses said, forcing residents to leave homes.

In Pakistan, severe shocks were felt in Murree, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gilgit-Baltistan, Abbottabad, Mansehra and surrounding areas.

At least 27 people, including women and children, with minor injuries were brought to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar following earthquake in the province.

LRH director for accident and emergency Dr Khalid said all the injured had sustained minor wounds, adding 18 people were discharged following medical assistance at the facility.

Meanwhile, at least five people including two women and children were stuck under the rubble when a roof fell in Dogdarra area of Upper Dir.

“The roof was already made weak by the continuous rain, and collapsed during the earthquake,” police officials from the area said.

Telephone networks have reportedly been disrupted in the affected areas and an emergency has been declared at all hospitals across KP.

Pakistan is located in the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone, which is roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin.

This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the South Asian plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range.

Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes.

The PMD recorded about 851 seismic disturbances in 2015.