Two die in Pakistan as quake hits region

Islamabad/Kabul/New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) A major earthquake jolted parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India on Sunday, reportedly killing two people and injuring 10 in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, officials said the earthquake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and hit parts of the country’s northern and eastern regions.

Pakistan’s meteorological department said the epicentre was determined at the Hindu Kush mountain range, located along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with a depth of 236 km.

The tremors were felt in capital Islamabad, parts of Punjab province and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province including the capital Peshawar as well as tribal areas.

The quake created panic among residents. Emergency was declared in hospitals in Peshawar for possible quake victims.

Media reports said two people were killed but provided no details.

In India, the authorities said the magnitude was measured at 6.8, and the depth at 190 km.

The tremors were also felt all across northern India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

People rushed out of their homes and offices in some parts of New Delhi and surrounding areas, residents said.

In Delhi, Metro services were briefly halted as a precaution. Normalcy quickly returned.

The tremors were felt in several Afghan provinces including Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman in the east, Baghlan and Kunduz in the north and Takhar and Badakhshan in the northeast, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, no casualties have been reported so far in Afghanistan.

Sayed Abdullah Hamayon Dehqan, director of the National Disaster Management Authority in Badakhshan province, told Xinhua that the epicentre was in the mountainous Ashkashim district.

The tremors were also felt in Xinjiang in northwest China.

The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake hit the Hindu Kush area at 6.28 p.m. (Beijing time) at 36.56 degrees north and 71.31 degrees east, at a depth of 200 km.

Residents of Kashgar, Hotan and Kizilsu Kirgiz prefectures of the autonomous region that borders Afghanistan felt strong tremors.

Deng Jiaping, a resident of Kashgar, told Xinhua that the building she lives in shook for less than a minute, toppling her desktop computer and sending neighbours running out for safety.

Some railway sections in the south of Xinjiang were closed for safety checks after the quake.

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