Tremors in northern India

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake today shook some northern parts of the country, including the Kashmir Valley, causing panic among the residents.

The tremors were felt for a few moments at 7.31 p.m. in most parts of Kashmir, prompting residents to rush out of their homes, bringing back the memories of October 2005 temblor that had left a trail of death and destruction in the state.

While reports from Punjab said that the quake was barely felt in the state, people in some parts of the national capital said that they felt the tremors around 7:30 p.m. The epicentre of the quake was in the Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan at a focal depth of 170 km, officials said.

The impact of the earthquake was minimal in Chandigarh, officials said. They said that no loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Punjab. In Srinagar, officials of the disaster management cell said there were no reports of any damage or casualty due to the tremors so far.

Kashmir falls in the highly earthquake prone Seismic Zone V. It had experienced a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on October 8, 2005, which flattened many parts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

A report from Islamabad said the quake jolted parts of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces of Pakistan though there were no reports of casualties or damage to property. The temblor, which lasted about five seconds, occurred at about 7 pm local time (7.30 IST) and was followed by powerful aftershocks.

It was felt in Islamabad, Lahore and other parts of Punjab, Peshawar and across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindukush, which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

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