6.3 Earthquake Shakes Kashmir

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Srinagar: An earthquake of magnitude: 6.3 shook Kashmir Valley and adjoining areas late on Friday sparking panic among the residents, many of whom rushed out of their homes for safety despite intense cold weather. Many people, the reports said, left barefoot and stood on frozen snow outside their houses after witnessing their houses shaking.

It is pertinent to mention here that such a high-intensity earthquake jolted Kashmir after 15 years, and during the previous incident around eighty thousand people perished on Pakistani side of Kashmir when an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck the region on October 8, 2005.

According to the Seismological Centre the earthquake originated at 38.08N, 73.31E; 256km southwest of Kashgar, China and 35km west-southwest of Murghob, Tajikistan. It was reported to have a depth of 80km.

Earthquakes measuring 6 to 6.9 on the Richter scale are seismologically classified as of ‘strong’ magnitude.

The tremors which were also felt in multiple parts of the sub-continent besides Leh and Kargil lasted for several minutes. Citizens were advised to remain careful as the aftershocks of the earthquake were expected.

Residents in many areas of Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir abandoned homes and came out on the streets for safety.

“Not since the earthquake of 2005 have the tremors in Srinagar been bad enough to force me out of the house. I grabbed a blanket and ran. I didn’t remember to take my phone and so was unable to tweet “earthquake” while the damn ground was shaking,” tweeted former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

There were no immediate reports of destruction or casualties.

Some reports suggest that the quake also jolted parts of Afghanistan and Central Asia.

In the region the earthquake was felt in Delhi, Punjab and parts of Pakistan including Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Earlier an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 on the Richter scale occurred in Gulmarg on Monday morning, according to the National Centre for Seismology.

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