A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked large swaths of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Saturday, and preliminary reports indicated the damage in Pakistan could be widespread. Initial reports say that thousands of people were injured in Pakistan, and many more were feared trapped in the rubble of a 19-story building in Islamabad.
The earthquake of high intensity with 7.6 on the Richter scale, jolted diverse areas in Pakistan, making the people exit from their homes and to take shelter in open places in pre-noon hours. The first tremor which started at 08:55 PST [03:55 GMT] lasted for almost three minutes without break, a metrological expert told Pakistan’s first independent daily E-newspaper, ‘Pakistan Times’ by phone.
Yet, another report says that Strong intensity quake jolts Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and other parts of country. No casualty has been reported so far. Quake jolted Islamabad and Rawalpindi at 08: 53 [03:53 GMT] that lasted for 23 seconds followed by several aftershocks. Officials are colleting data. Intensity of the tremor measured 7.6 at Richter scale. Reports say, people ran out of their homes in panic.
The epicentre of the first prolonged quake was located almost 100 KMs North-East of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. This was followed by multiple trembles. Of these, one originated 115 KMs South East of Mingora in Swat area of the NWFP, the other 195 KMs off Jehlum in Punjab, the third from 120 KMs away from Srinagar with subsequent shocks which were persisting till 10:35 PST [05:35 GMT] unabated.
Reports received by now indicate that Saturday’s earthquake of such a high intensity which did not occur in the recent past in any part of the region of South Asia. Yet, today’s tremors hit not only many areas in Pakistan but also in India and Afghanistan.
It was rather unusual that almost half a dozen after-shocks took place and were still persisting. Never before, in the recent history, such a scenario had been witnessed by people of Pakistan.
With collapse and cracks of buildings at many places, though no full information about loss of life or serious damage to property is available so far, but in the wake of the enormity of the earthquake with a lot of after-shocks, massive loss is being anticipated by specialists on tremors, the PakistanTimes reports.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign