Eight dead, over 100 injured as strong earthquake rattles Azad Kashmir, other parts of Pakistan

Eight dead, over 100 injured as strong earthquake rattles Azad Kashmir, other parts of Pakistan

LAHORE – At least eight persons were killed and more than a hundred people sustained injuries as 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled Azad Kashmir and other parts of Pakistan on Tuesday.

Several houses, shops and and buildings collapsed in different parts of Azad Kashmir, whereas, images obtained from the affected areas show massive cracks on roads. Rescue teams have rushed to the spot and emergency has been declared at all the hospitals. Meanwhile, mobile service has also been affected in the area.

Meteorological Department said that according to its preliminary assessment, the epicentre of the 5.8-magnitude quake was located near the mountainous city of Jehlum in the Punjab province.

"The quake was 10 kilometres deep and was felt in most of Punjab province, some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The worst hit was Mirpur, Azad Kashmir," Chief meteorologist Muhammad Riaz told.

In other parts of the country, tremors were felt in Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Chiniot, Jalalpur, Bajaur, Mirpur, Zafarwal, Skardu, Manga Mandi, Kohat, Charsadda,Kamoke, Kasur, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Daska, Gujrat, Sialkot, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Okara, Nowshera, Attock, Jhang and adjoining areas. 

The tremors were also felt Daska, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Mansehra, Batagram, Torghar, Mirpur (Azad Kashmir) Bhimber, Jhelum, and Mandi Bahauddin.

Many people rushed out of multistory buildings and homes into the streets following the earthquake.

In Pictures: Strong earthquake wreaks havoc in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed immediate rescue operation for effectees of the earthquake in Azad Kashmir. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, has expressed grief over the loss of lives and properties in Mirpur Azad Kashmir.

PM was informed about the earthquake and damages caused by it in New York. He instructed the authorities to immediately provide relief to the victims of earth quake.

1122 Team Sent for Relief Activity 

Rescue teams have been dispatched to assist earthquake victims of Mirpur, Azad Kashmir under the direction of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

According to Director General (DG) Rescue Punjab Dr Rizwan Naseer, rescue teams have been sent from Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat to Mirpur Azad Kashmir.

Dr. Rizwan Naseer said that in this hour of crisis, Rescue Punjab will provide all possible aid to the effectees. Rescue 1122 backup teams have also been alerted throughout the Punjab.

Quake Jolts India

Tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, while the Press Trust of India reported that people rushed out of their homes and offices in panic in several places, including in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.

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

In October 2015, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people, flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

The country was also 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 Azad Kashmir.

...with inputs from AFP