Kabul: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked northeast Afghanistan late Friday close to the country’s borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan, leaving at least 17 people injured, according to the US Geological Survey. IANS reports that at least 37 people were injured.
The quake, which measured 203.5 kilometres (126 miles) deep, struck about 280 kilometres northeast of the Afghan capital Kabul at 11:44 pm (1914 GMT), the USGS said on its website.
Kabul residents rushed out of their homes and buildings on what was a bitterly cold night amid fears of aftershocks, an AFP journalist said, while the quake also caused buildings to sway in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Tremors were also felt in the national capital and Kashmir.
The capital city Peshawar of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was the worst-hit area from where the all 37 casualties were reported.
The provincial authorities have imposed a state of emergency in all the three major hospitals in Peshawar and in neighbouring Nowshera district to facilitate the injured people.
Ghulam Rasool, Director General of Pakistan, said that the quake’s focal depth was 197 km in the Hindukush mountain ranges along Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.
An AFP reporter said the earthquake appeared to continue for at least 30 seconds, while Twitter users as far away as New Delhi said they felt its impact.
In October, a 7.5-magnitude quake ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing nearly 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.
For many in Pakistan, October’s quake brought back traumatic memories of a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million.
Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
In Nepal a quake in April and a strong aftershock in May killed more than 8,900 people.
NEO Monitoring Report