Quake shakes Islamabad, Punjab, KPK areas


ISLAMABAD: A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck just outside Islamabad early on Saturday morning, the United States Geological Survey said, but local officials said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.


Residents of the Pakistani capital reported buildings and vehicles shaking after the quake hit at 1:59 am local time (2059 GMT).

The tremor struck at a relatively shallow depth of 26 kilometres, according to USGS, with the epicentre located 15 kilometres (nine miles) to the northeast of Islamabad.

The quake was felt in several Pakistani cities in the provinces of eastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ghulam Rasul, a senior meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department told AFP.

The local meteorologists put the size of the quake at 4.6 magnitude and the depth at just 10 kilometres.

Peshawar, Mardan, Haripur and Mansehra were also swayed by the strong tremors. The earthquake was also felt in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Abbottabad, Murree, Lahore, Gujranwala and the adjacent areas. The shakes were felt in Swabi, Battagram and Kohistan. In Azad Kashmir, the quake jolted many areas including Bagh.

It should be mentioned here that the shakes continued for at least 10 seconds that appalled people. The panic-stricken citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from holy Quran and Kalima.

Pakistan straddles part of the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.

It was hit by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005 that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake devastated several areas in southwestern Baluchistan province in September 2013, killing at least 370 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.