September 24, 2019
A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted several cities and northern parts of the country — including Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore — on Tuesday afternoon.
The tremors lasted for 8-10 seconds but were felt strongly, DawnNewsTV reported.
The cities where the tremors were felt included Sialkot, Sargodha, Mansehra, Gujrat, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Bajaur, Swat, Sahiwal, Rahim Yar Khan and Mirpur.
AJK Minister for Sports, Youth and Culture Chaudhry Mohammad Saeed told Dawn that at least two people have died and more than 100 wounded in different parts of Mirpur district due to the quake.
He said an emergency has been declared at state-owned hospitals in the town.
Occurring just after 4pm, the shallow quake hit 22.3 kilometres north of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab and Azad Kashmir, according to the US Geological Survey.
“The quake was 10 kilometres deep and was felt in most of Punjab province, some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The worst hit was Mirpur, Azad Kashmir,” chief meteorologist Muhammad Riaz told AFP.
Witnesses Sajjad Jarral and Qazi Tahir told AFP at least 50 people were injured by the quake that caused a building to collapse in Mirpur and inflicted heavy damage on at least one road. There are also reports of walls collapsing in the area.
Tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, while the Press Trust of India reported that people rushed out of their homes and offices in panic in several places, including in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. According to DNA India, the quake was also felt in parts of Indian-occupied Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
Najeeb Ahmed, a deputy director at Pakistan Meteorological Department’s earthquake centre, told DawnNewsTV that the quake measured 5.8 on the magnitude scale and was at a depth of 10 kilometres.
The quake sent people racing out of buildings and offices in cities across the country.