Friday, 09 June 2023 12:57 GMT

13 Dead In Afghanistan, Pakistan Earthquake

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) At least 13 people were killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by a strong earthquake felt across thousands of kilometres, but the region appeared yesterday to have dodged the mass casualties usually associated with a tremor of such scale.
The United States Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 quake was centred near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan, but the depth of 187km mitigated extensive damage. The quake, which struck around 9:30pm Kabul time on Tuesday and lasted more than 30 seconds, was felt from central Asia to New Delhi in India - more than 2,000km away.
“It was a powerful earthquake and we feared maximum damage due to the intensity - that's why we issued an alert,” Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan's emergency Rescue 1122 service in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told AFP.“But fortunately our fears proved wrong. Residents panicked due to the magnitude of the earthquake, but the damage was minimal.”
The region is frequently hit by quakes - especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. In Jurm district, near the epicentre, a resident of one village reported no casualties despite the proximity.“We are about 2,000 to 3,000 people in our village and we all spent the night outside under the sky,” said Inamullah, reached by telephone.
“We were all scared and stayed awake the entire night.” Some 50 houses had collapsed in the village located in the snow-capped mountains, an AFP correspondent who arrived in the area reported.
Panicked residents of cities and towns in Afghanistan and Pakistan also fled their homes to seek safety away from buildings - with many too scared to return.“We stayed the night in our courtyard... it was cold outside, but we preferred to stay out rather than go back,” 24-year-old student Neda Raihan told AFP in Kabul.
Khudadad Heights, a vast multi-storey residential block in the Pakistan capital, was evacuated after huge cracks appeared in the building.
More than 55,000 people were killed by an earthquake that struck southeastern Turkiye and parts of Syria last month, heightening fears across the region.
“The children started shouting that there is an earthquake. We all ran out. The horrors of the earthquake in Turkiye and neighbouring countries had a strong effect on our nerves,” said Ikhlaq Kazmi, a retired professor in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. Officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, north of Islamabad, said nine people had been killed in the quake, including two women and two children.


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