At least five people were injured when a powerful earthquake of 6.8 magnitude jolted parts of Pakistan on Tuesday night, sparking panic and forcing residents to flee homes, local media reports said. The epicentre of the earthquake was Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region, while its depth was 180 kilometres, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries. According to initial reports, tremors were felt in various cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Charsadda, Lahore and Rawalpindi. Strong tremors were also felt in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Kot Momin, Madh Ranjha, Chakwal, Kohat and in Gilgit-Baltistan areas, local media reported.
Television footage showed panic-stricken citizens out on the streets. At the time of the earthquake, a stampede was reported in the markets of Rawalpindi, The Express Tribune newspaper reported. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, at least five members of a family were injured after a roof of their house collapsed in Swabi, while Bahrain-Kalam Road was blocked due to landsliding caused by the earthquake, the report said.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has asked disaster management officials to remain vigilant to handle any situation, according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan. An emergency was declared in the hospitals of the federal capital on the instructions of Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, The Express Tribune reported. According to the international seismological centre, apart from Pakistan, tremors were also felt in India, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan. Earthquakes are common in Pakistan.
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Islamabad in January this year. The deadliest quake hit the country in 2005, which killed more than 74,000 people.
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