ISLAMABAD: The Death toll in the deadly earthquake climbed to 250 while hundreds were injured in an earthquake measuring 8.1 at Richter Scale hit Pakistan here on Monday.
Reportedly, several buildings collapsed in various areas of the country s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that the quake hit the country at about 2:09 p.m. local time and its epicenter was determined in Mount Hindukush, located along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with a focal depth of 193 km.
The US Geological Survey put the epicentre near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 km.
The epitcentre is close to the site of an October 2005 quake which had a 7.6 magnitude quake and killed more than 75,000 people, displacing some 3.5 million more, although that quake was much shallower.
At the moment, losses are being determined in various areas of the country by the national and provincial disaster management authorities.
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority has warned of aftershocks over the next 24 hours.
STRONG TREMORS FELT IN INDIA, KABUL
The quake, which lasted at least one minute, shook buildings in Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi and sent people rushing into the streets.
Afghanistan s CEO Abdullah Abdullah said reports of damage and injuries were coming in from Afghanistan s northeast.
“Disasters authorities to meet within the hour and respond to the needs,” he tweeted.
Traffic came to a stop in downtown Kabul, with people getting out of their cars as they waited for the quake to pass.
As buildings shook throughout north India, hundreds of people poured onto the streets from office blocks, hospitals and and homes, AFP reporters and TV footage showed.
Delhi s metro ground to a halt during the tremor although the airport continued operating.
“All of around 190 trains plying on the tracks were stopped at the time of the earthquake. The lines and the trains are now being restored after basic inspection of respective lines,” Anuj Dayal, Delhi Metro spokesman told AFP.
Cell phone networks were down in the Kashmir region where panicked residents also evacuated buildings and school children were seen huddling together outside their school in the main city of Srinagar.
“Some bridges and buldings got damaged. There are no reports of loss of life so far. Cell phone networks are down, we are using our wireless network to gather information,” inspector general of police for the Kashmir region, Javid Gillani, told AFP from the police control room.
Many buildings were badly damaged during massive floods a year ago, heightening the danger that they would have collapsed during the quake.