IIn Afghanistan and Pakistan, at least a dozen people died as a result of a violent earthquake. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the 6.5-magnitude earthquake was near the town of Gorm in northeastern Afghanistan, at a depth of 187 kilometers. According to this, the earthquake lasted at least 30 seconds and was felt as far as New Delhi, India, more than a thousand kilometers away as the crow flies from the epicenter.
In the Pakistani state of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, north of Islamabad, according to official figures, nine people were killed in the earthquake, including two children. According to the Pakistan Rescue Service, the damage was less than initially expected given the magnitude of the quake. The USGS cited the earthquake’s epicenter’s relatively large distance to the Earth’s surface as the reason for this.
According to official reports, three people were killed and 44 wounded in Afghanistan. Telephone lines and the Internet were cut, disrupting communications in some parts of the country.
More than a thousand dead in the 2022 earthquake
There were also isolated reports of damage. Pictures of collapsed homes were posted on Twitter. The recordings are said to come from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The earthquake can still be felt more than a thousand kilometers away: Residents of India’s capital, New Delhi, ran out of fear as buildings collapsed into the streets, The Times of India reports. Similar reports were received from Islamabad and Lahore. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Authority, the earthquake that struck the Pakistani capital had a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale. And even in Kazakhstan, which is located farther north, the earthquake can still be felt. It was reported from Shymkent and Taras that residents fled their homes. Videos have been posted on social networks showing how city dwellers enthusiastically run through the streets.
More than 1,000 people were killed in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan last June. It was the deadliest earthquake in the country for nearly a quarter of a century. Tens of thousands of people have also been left homeless. Earthquakes are very common in Afghanistan, particularly in the Hindu Kush where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates collide. Because many homes in the poor country are poorly built, tremors often cause extensive damage.
The earthquake also brings back memories of the severe earthquakes that hit Turkey and northern Syria in early February. More than 50 thousand people died in Turkey alone. About two million people had to be housed in emergency shelters such as tents and containers. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some 6,800 people died in the earthquakes across Syria.