Several persons have been injured after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck north of Kabul, Afghanistan, its devastating tremors felt across Pakistan and India.
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake has today struck northeast Afghanistan near the country's borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), with tremors being felt as far as New Delhi, India’s capital city.
The USGS said Saturday morning's earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.4, was at a depth of 203km and centered 82km southeast of the town of Feyzabad, capital of the Afghan province of Badakhshan.
Kabul residents rushed out of their homes and buildings on what was a bitterly cold night amid fears of aftershocks, according to a local journalist, while the quake also caused buildings to sway in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Tremors were reported from Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jaipur, Delhi and the National Capital Region in India.
In Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government issued a red alert soon after the earthquake but there was no immediate information about loss of life or damage to property.
Injuries from Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar rapidly increased to 39 while a portion of a hospital in Mardan had to be evacuated because of a crack in the wall caused by the quake.
The quake lasted only 59seconds, but was severe, being felt in several locations in the three countries.
“The most horrible 50 seconds of my life. That earthquake was pretty long and scary as hell.. May Allah forgive us and protect us!”
Though there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in Afghanistan, at least 40 people were injured in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
In Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, some residents remained outside their homes despite the chilly winter weather, fearful of aftershocks.
Sahiba Khan, a student, said she was reading when the earthquake jolted her home. She said her family ran outside when reciting verses from the Quran.
Tremors were also felt in India’s Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jiapur, Delhi and National Capital regions, according to New Delhi Television.
Afghanistan is notorious for being frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.