A severe earthquake jolted parts of Pakistan at 9:47 pm on Tuesday in which at least nine people lost their lives with dozens of others sustaining injuries. The jolts sparked fear among residents of Islamabad as well as other regions.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the magnitude of the earthquake was 6.8 on the Richter scale.
An earthquake originated on 21-03-2023 at 21:47 PST
Depth: 180 km
Lat: 36.51 N
Long: 70.96 E
Epicentre: Hindukush Region, Afghanistan.
— Pak Met Department محکمہ موسمیات (@pmdgov) March 21, 2023
The Met Department said that the epicentre of the quake was the Hindukush Region in Afghanistan. The quake hit at a depth of 180 kilometer.
According to an update issued by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority, at least 9 people lost their lives due to the quake with 44 others sustaining injuries.
PMD Director-General Mahr Sahibzad Khan while speaking to a news channel said that the damage due to the quake is likely to be limited due to its depth but added that areas closer to the epicenter are likely to suffer more damage due to the quake.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the strength of shaking from an earthquake diminishes with increasing distance from the earthquake’s source, so the strength of shaking at the surface from an earthquake that occurs at 500 km deep is considerably less than if the same earthquake had occurred at 20 km depth.
An update shared by USGS said that the epicenter of the quake was 40 kilometers south-southeast of the Afghan town of Jurm.
Notable quake, preliminary info: M 6.5 – 40 km SSE of Jurm, Afghanistan https://t.co/wxZ5D1GFQs
— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) March 21, 2023
Soon after the earthquake, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other institutions to be ready to deal with any emergency.
وزیراعظم کی نیشنل ڈیزاسٹر مینجمنٹ اتھارٹی اور دیگر متعلقہ اداروں کو کسی بھی نا گہانی صورت حال سے نمٹنے کے لیے تیار رہنے کی ہدایت
— President PMLN (@president_pmln) March 21, 2023
According to media reports the quake was felt in several cities across Pakistan including hocks were felt in Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Muzaffarabad, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Kohat, Multan, Swat, Shangla and many other places.
A video posted by Islamabad based journalist Raja Mohsin Ijaz showed massive cracks appear in a building in Islamabad.
— Raja Mohsin Ijaz (@rajamohsinsays) March 21, 2023
The tremors were also felt in India, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and even China.