Srinagar- A major earthquake with its epicenter in Afghanistan jolted Kashmir Valley on Tuesday evening forcing people out of their homes.
The earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale was felt in Kashmir around 10:17 pm on Tuesday when many people were already in sleep. Many people were seen reciting verses of Quran on the roads and streets in this capital city when the earth beneath them was shaking.
The tremors were felt in New Delhi, Punjab and other parts of North India on Tuesday night. The estimated magnitude was 6.6, while the affected countries include Turkmenistan, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Its epicentre is close to Fayzabad in Afghanistan, the National Center for Seismology said. The tremors erupted at a depth of 156 km, it noted.
However, there were no immediate reports of any loss of life or damage to property due to the earthquake.
This year, J&K has experienced 17 tremors—five of magnitude 4.0 or above, 10 of magnitude between 3.0 and 4.0, and two between 2.0 and 3.0.
Pertinently, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit the Valley on October 8, 2005, claiming the lives of over 80,000 people in both parts of Kashmir.
Most parts of Kashmir come under Seismic Zone V and are prone to earthquakes. Experts give varied reasons for earthquakes in J&K including various faults run through Kashmir and exploding of gases. Kashmir valley is vulnerable to disasters. At least 13 districts out of 100 districts in India have been identified as ‘multi hazard districts’.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, most parts of Kashmir covering the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Anantnag and parts of Jammu region, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar come under Seismic Zone V and are prone to earthquakes. While the rest of the Union Territory comes under Seismic Zone IV.
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