Massive earthquake kills 105 across South Asia

A massive earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale was felt in Srinagar and other parts of North India at around 2.45 pm on Monday.

The quake had its epicentre in the Hindukush region of Afghanistan, said a statement from the government.

The quake was 196 km (120 miles) deep and centred 82 km southeast of Feyzabad in a remote area of Afghanistan in the Hindukush mountain range, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

As it happened:

7.20 pm: Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says in a tweet that the earthquake was “the strongest one felt in recent decades. There are reports of heavy casualties caused by the earthquake but exact numbers are yet to be released by government authorities.” He did not provide further details.

Earlier he called an emergency meeting of disaster officials, which was broadcast live on television. He instructed doctors and hospitals to be prepared to receive and treat casualties

7.10 pm: Reports are coming in saying at least a 1000 others have been injured in the aftermath of the earthquake, in addition to the 105 reported dead.

The death toll in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is 96, with 5 killed in Punjab, and 4 in PoK, the Dawn reported.

7.00 pm: No tsunami threat to India, says the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services. > Read more...

6.55 pm: Death toll from Afghanistan quake rises to 105 across South Asia.

6.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, assures all possible help in the wake of earthquake. > Read more...

6.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed to enquire about damage caused by earthquake.

6.00 pm: Two elderly women died from heart attacks suffered during the earthquake, including a 65-year-old woman in the northern Kashmiri town of Baramulla and an 80-year-old in the southern town of Bijbehara, officials said - AP

5.30 pm: Death toll in Pakistan rises to 52. Nearly 200 others have been injured so far. > Read more...

5.20 pm: A second aftershock of magnitude 4.7 on the Richter scale occurred at same depth of 200 k.m. at 4.46 p.m. IST, and it was close to the epicentre. The energy released from the main earthquake was very huge and equivalent to impact of 50 atomic bombs used on Hiroshima, says CSIR-NGRI Chief Scientist D. Sri Nagesh.

5.15 pm: Earthquakes can change elastic properties of the Earth’s crust up to 6,000 kilometres away, altering its ability to withstand stresses for up to a few weeks, a new study has found. > Read more...

5.05 pm: Mild tremors were felt in some areas of northwest Madhya Pradesh. No report of casualties or damage to property has been received so far in the State, an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

“Gwalior and Chambal revenue divisions, Ratlam, Neemuch, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Agar, Rajgarh, Tikamgarh and Chhattarpur districts experienced minor tremors at around 2.40 PM,” IMD’s Bhopal office director Dr Anupam Kashyapi told PTI.

5.00 pm: Various parts of North India intensely felt the impact of the major earthquake due to the presence of soft sediments across the Indo-Gangetic plain, according to D. Sri Nagesh, Chief Scientist and Head of the Seismological Observatory at CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute. > Read more...

4.55 pm: Pakistani rescue official says 29 people killed in northwestern Pakistan by Afghan quake - AP

4.50 pm: Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre officials in Uttarakhand say there has been no report of any damage to life and property from anywhere in India so far, even as tremors were felt in several areas of the State including Mussoorie, Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee and Rishikesh.

4.40 pm: Reuters puts the death toll in Afghanistan at 17. At least 55 have been injured, said Najibullah Kamawal, head of the provincial hospital in Jalalabad, adding that the total could rise.

4.35 pm: 12 schoolgirls killed in the Afghan city of Taluqan trying to escape the earthquake, reports AP. Another 30 girls were taken to the hospital.

4.30 pm: “In future, if any earthquake were to happen along the Himalayas, it may happen further west of the focus of the main April 25 quake,” Dr. R.K. Chadha, Chief Scientist at the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute, had told The Hindu in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. > Read more...

4.25 pm: Death toll in Pakistan rises to 14, according to PTI.

4.15 pm: Five deaths have been reported in Afghanistan so far, while 55 people have been injured, according to Reuters.

4.10 pm: CSIR - National Geophysical Research Institute has pegged the intensity of the quake at 7.7 on the Richter scale.

4.09 pm: Death toll from the quake rises to 12 in Pakistan, according to Reuters.

4.08 pm: The flyover at Jehangir Chowk in the heart of Srinagar has developed cracks, forcing the authorities to suspend traffic over it, reports PTI.

4.07 pm: Two Army personnel were injured when their bunker collapsed under the impact of the tremor at Sopore, 55 kms from Srinagar, in north Kashmir Baramulla district, reports PTI.

4.04 pm: Pakistan's daily, Dawn, puts the death toll at 14, with at least 294 injured taken to various hospitals.

4.00 pm: Aftershock measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook the Hindukush mountains 40 minutes after the main earthquake, says D. Sri Nagesh, Chief scientist and head of seismology observatory at CSIR - National Geophysical Research Institute at Hyderabad.

3.55 pm: A senior metro official said that metro services have resumed, although trains are running at a very slow pace.

“Metro services were put on hold from 2.40 PM to 2.55 PM in view of the earthquake. Thereafter, train services were brought to normal routine after ensuring safety check of the structures,” the official said.

3.50 pm: Delhi government has activated its disaster management teams, according to PTI reports. “Please stay calm & do not panic. Disaster management teams have been activated,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

3.47 pm: In Pakistan, Zahid Rafiq, an official with the meteorological department, said the quake was felt across the country. In Islamabad, buildings shook and people poured into the streets in a panic, according to AP reports.

3.45 pm: Power was cut across much of the Afghan capital, where tremors were felt for around 45 seconds. Houses shook, walls cracked and cars rolled in the street. Officials in the capital could not be immediately reached as telephones appeared to be cut across the country, reported AP.

“There are reports of casualties and destruction” in some remote districts of Badakhshan, said the provincial director of the national disaster management authority, Abdullah Humayoon Dehqan.

3.40 pm: "Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone’s safety," PM Modi after strong quake in Af-Pak region whose tremors felt in parts of India.

3.35 pm: USGS revises the quake intensity to 7.5. It initially measured the quake at 7.7, then revised it down to 7.6.

3.30 pm: Reuters reports say four people have been killed in northwestern Pakistan so far and "scores injured" in the aftermath of the earthquake.

3.15 pm: Metro rail services in Delhi have been suspended for the time being as a precaution. In Srinagar, residents said they saw the buildings “swinging”, reminding them of the devastating quake in 2005.

3.05pm: A map provided by the U.S. Geological Survey showing the epicentre of the earthquake.

A map provided by the USGS showing the epicentre of the earthquake.

3.00 pm: Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted saying the electricity had been cut off in Srinagar after the tremors. "Electricity cutoff with the tremors in Srinagar. Praying it hasn't caused loss of life or too much damage anywhere. #earthquake," he tweeted.

An earlier U.S. Geological Survey Report on Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity says, "Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth."

The world's strongest earthquakes since 1900

  • April 11, 2012 - A magnitude-8.6 quake off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia triggers tsunami warnings in more than two dozen nations.
  • March 11, 2011 - A magnitude-9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.
  • Feb. 27, 2010 - A magnitude-8.8 quake shakes Chile, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.
  • Sept. 12, 2007 - A magnitude-8.5 quake near Sumatra in Indonesia kills at least 25 people.
  • March 28, 2005 - A magnitude-8.6 quake in northern Sumatra in Indonesia kills about 1,300 people.
  • Dec. 26, 2004 - A magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
  • Feb. 4, 1965 - A magnitude-8.7 quake strikes Alaska’s Rat Islands, causing an 11-meter (35—foot) -high tsunami.
  • March 28, 1964 - A magnitude-9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, kills 131 people, including 128 from a tsunami.
  • Oct. 13, 1963 - A magnitude-8.5 quake in the Kuril Islands triggers a tsunami.
  • May 22, 1960 - A magnitude-9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.
  • March 9, 1957 - A magnitude-8.6 quake strikes the Andreanof Islands in Alaska triggers a 16-meter (52-foot) -high tsunami.
  • Nov. 4, 1952 - A magnitude-9.0 quake in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 9.1-meter (30-foot) waves in Hawaii.
  • Aug. 15, 1950 - A magnitude-8.6 earthquake in Tibet kills at least 780 people.
  • Feb.1 , 1938 - A magnitude-8.5 quake in Banda Sea, Indonesia, generates a small tsunami.
  • Feb. 3, 1923 - A magnitude-8.5 quake in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East triggers a tsunami.
  • Nov. 11, 1922 - A magnitude-8.5 quake along the Chile—Argentina border triggers a tsunami that causes damage along Chile’s coast.
  • Jan. 31, 1906 - A magnitude—8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador generates a tsunami that kills at least 500 people.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 6:03:16 AM |

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