Strong earthquake tremors, lasting for several seconds, were felt in Delhi and neighbouring cities late on Tuesday evening. According to reports, the earthquake shocks, measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale, were felt in Turkmenistan, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The epicentre of the earthquake is believed to be 90 km from Kalafgan in Afghanistan.
Earthquake tremors were felt in Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar, Pakistan’s ARY News report said.
In India, besides Delhi, heavy tremors were also felt in Jammu and Kashmir, western Uttar Pradesh.
“An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter Scale hit 133km SSE of Fayzabad, Afghanistan today at 10:17 pm IST,” said National Centre for Seismology. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake rocked Afghanistan its epicentre was 40 kilometres south-southeast of the Afghan town of Jurm.
The Delhi Fire Services said that they have received a call about the tilting of a building in the Shakarpur area in East Delhi. However, Fire Director Atul Garg said no building was found tilted. “An initial call was given by some of the neighbours. The occupants of the building were not aware of the call,” he said.
Delhi has witnessed quake jolts in the past few months but this was the strongest in the recent past. Speaking to India Today, some residents in Nodia said they felt the tremors which they said lasted about 2-3 minutes. Videos have been pouring in of people in panic as the tremors, which lasted for over 30 seconds, struck.
In Jammu and Kashmir, devotees rushed out of guest houses in Katra. Shubham, a guest house owner, said very strong tremors were felt and all the devotees rushed out of the guest house. “With Maa Vaishno Devi’s blessings, there was no loss of lives and they are returning to their hotels.”
In Punjab, people gathered in open spaces in Ludhiana, Bathinda and other cities. “I was sitting on the sofa and talking to my son when it started shaking. I raised an alarm. Everyone rushed out, very strong tremors were felt,” a woman said. Another woman said she was setting her bed when her husband raised an alarm and told her to rush out.
Pakistan’s Dawn News reported that so far there was no news of any damage or loss of lives. The country’s rescue department had received a phone call each from Swabi and Lower Dir on which rescue teams were despatched. “No confirmed reports of any loss of life or property have been received yet. Rescue 1122 is on high alert and ready to provide services during any emergency,” rescue department chief general Dr Khateer Ahmad told Dawn.
(With inputs from agencies)