New Delhi, Oct 26: A massive earthquake measuring 7.7 magnitude on Monday, Oct 26, shook Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of north India, including the national capital New Delhi and NCR region, triggering massive panic.
Strong tremors were felt in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the epicenter being reported from Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan, struck at around 2.40 pm.
According to Pakistan's MeT Department, the earthquake's magnitude was found to be 8.1.
The India Meteorological Department said the epicentre of the quake lay in the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan.
The US Geological Survey put the epicenter near Jarm in the country's northeast, 250 kilometres (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 km. It put the intensity at 7.7 on the Richter scale.
In India, the tremors jolted the whole of northern India including Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
People frantically rushed out of their houses and offices as the ground shook. Everywhere, tens of thousands of people fled out of their homes and high-rise buildings.
Pakistanis took to social media to post reports of a "massive quake", Dawn said.
It said the tremors were felt in major cities including Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Kohat and Malakand.
The quake, which lasted at least one minute, shook buildings in Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi, sending people rushing into the streets.
In Srinagar, residents said they saw the buildings "swinging", remindig them of the devastating quake in 2005.
According to National Center for Seismology, a unit of Ministry of Earth Science, the epicentre of the earthquake was the Hindukush mountain range, known to be a high sesimic zone. The earthquake occured at the depth of 190 kms.
Delhi Metro halts, resumes services
Delhi Metro immediately halted its services for some time after strong tremors shook the Indian capital
"Metro trains were stopped as per standard procedure. The entire system was shut down," Delhi Metro executive director Anuj Dayal said.
The quake also affected telecom services in Delhi and neighbouring regions as hundreds of thousands of people began telephoning one another.
"Massive, massive it was... praying." This is how Delhi's Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra reacted as a major earthquake shook the Indian capital.
60 killed, over 100 injured in Pakistan
At least sixty people were killed and over hundred were injured in Pakistan when a major earthquake hit parts of the country.
12 school girls killed in stampede in Afghanistan
12 school girls were reportedly killed during a stampede in Afghanistan, when the country was rocked by a powerful quake.
Aftershocks were felt at 3.19 pm in Farkhar, Afghanistan.
Indians in Kabul safe
All Indians in Kabul are safe and there are no reports of damage to Indian owned property in the city in the wake of a devastating earthquake with its epicentre in Afghanistan, an Indian embassy official said.
"As of now, there are no reports of casualties or injuries among Indians," the official told a news agency on the phone at 4.30 pm (IST), adding that Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha was going around the city to assess the situation.
Attempts were also being made to contact the Indian consulates in Afghanistan to assess the situation, the official added.
Tremors felt in Nepal
Strong tremors shook different parts of Nepal including Kathmandu after a major earthquake jolted Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, The Himalayan Post reported.
PM Narendra Modi offers help to Afghanistan, Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India was ready to provide assistance to Kabul and Islamabad following a powerful earthquake with epicentre in Afghanistan.
Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone's safety.
Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone's safety.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 26, 2015
I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan & Pakistan.
I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan & Pakistan.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 26, 2015
Do not panic, Kejriwal says
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked people not to panic after a powerful earthquake jolted the capital.
Delhi government also activated its disaster management teams soon after strong tremors jolted the national capital making people scurry for cover and bringing the metro to a halt.
Please stay calm & do not panic. Disaster management teams have been activated
Please stay calm & do not panic. Disaster management teams have been activated— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 26, 2015
Here are some Twitter reactions:
(With Agency inputs)