5.8- Quake Rocks Kashmir, 2 Killed, Scores Hurt

SRINAGAR: A 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Jammu and Kashmir earlier in the day on Wednesday left at least two persons dead and 100 others, including 32 children injured across the state. 

Tremors were felt around from 1227 hours to 1234 hours, officials said.

Twin districts of Kishtwar and Doda were the hardest hit where nearly 400 structures, including schools, hospitals and houses, developed cracks.

Two persons were killed and some 69, including 32 students, were injured in the two districts, officials quoting initial reports said in Jammu.

"The quake occurred at 12.27 p.m. and measured 5.8 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was near Kishtwar town at the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh border region. Its depth was 15 kilometer while as its latitude was 33.1 degree North and 75.8 degree East,” a Meteorological official told the Kashmir Observer.

No loss of life or property was reported from Kashmir division; however, earthquake reportedly left two persons dead and scores injured in Doda, Bhadarwah and Kishtawar. One person identified as Gosuram from Kontwara, Inderwal died on spot when his residential house collapsed due to tremor shocks.

MLA, Inderwal, G.M.Saroori said that scores of children were injured and dozens of residential structures, especially school buildings, were damaged in the quake. “One person died on spot. Another person from Jharkhand was air-lifted to Jammu in serious condition,” he said.

Police sources said that at Pasri, Bhadarwah, the three storey house of Rehmat-ullah Khan collapsed while the residential houses of Ali Mohammad Bhat and Farid Ahmed Shapu too got damaged in the same area.

In Balisa Bisral area of Bhaderwah, at least 40 houses were damaged due to alternate earthquake shocks due to which more than 21 persons suffered minor injuries. Similarly, the house of a local employee Sarpangal Kumar was completely damaged. The said employee has been admitted to nearby hospital in critical condition.

Reports said that at least 112 structures have collapsed due to tremor shocks in Bhadarwah. At Chinchora, which is 16 kilometers away from Badherwah five school children were injured when the roof of the school building collapsed.

In Gulmore area of Kishtawar, tremor shocks triggered landslides which destroyed the house on one Gosuram completely and left him dead on the spot. A high school building was damaged in Jangalwar area of Kishtwar. Similarly, at Cheerji area a six year old girl was seriously wounded due to roof collapsing.

Eyewitnesses said that in Potinag area of Inderwal, a Primary School building was completely damaged and it left 4 school children injured. “All the injured children were shifted to nearby hospital and two of them were later discharged,” Mansoor Ahmed, an eyewitness said.

The earthquake left the village of Badhabnu and its surrounding area in Doda district in complete shock. At least 200 structures mostly of mud were either damaged or developed cracks. Scores of people have suffered injuries that are being treated in hospital.

In Thatri, Doda, a person Shiv Kumar was critically injured when was trapped in the debris after his house collapsed.

The tremor has also affected the areas like Paddar, Chhatru, Thatri, Kani, Kontwara and so on.

“We can’t give you the actual details yet. Property, worth Crores has been damaged and scores are injured. Revenue officials postponed their strike and are estimate the loss incurred due to earthquake,” MLA Inderwal, Saroori said.

Yesterday, an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale had been felt in Bhaderwah and adjoining areas of Doda district.

Cracks have been visible in some buildings in Bhaderwah. Taking a precautionary measure, schools in Doda and Bhaderwah were asked to stop functioning. 

On April 24, a quake measuring 5.7 on the Richter Scale and epicentred in southern Afghanistan had shook Kashmir valley while on April 16, tremor of 7.8    magnitude with Pakistan-Iran border as its epicentre also had its effect in the region.

'I heard rumble before house shook'
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who felt the tremors, tweeted, "Yup, I felt those tremors in Srinagar. Strange thing was that I heard the rumble before the house started to shake. With reports of the epicentre being in Doda I'm encouraged by the initial reports about damage. I hope it stays this way."

There were also reports of injuries in the area around the epicentre Doda. Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Reports of some structural damage in Doda region & injuries including to school children. SDRF teams mobilised & district officers sent." "7 children & 2 teachers reported injured in 3 different schools. Some damage to structures in the region of Doda, Gandoh & Badarwah," he added.

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