KARACHI: At least 200 people were killed and scores others injured after a powerful 7.5 magnitude quake struck northern Pakistan on Monday and was felt throughout much of South Asia, with fears the death toll could rise substantially.
Thousands of frightened people rushed into the streets across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as the quake rocked a swathe of the subcontinent. Shockwaves were felt in areas as far away as New Delhi in India and Kabul in Afghanistan.
In Pakistan, the earthquake tremors were felt in Lahore, Islamabad, Sargodha, Peshawar, Malakand, Swat, Kashmir and several parts of the country.
Several areas in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces were badly affected, with at least 186 casualties and hundreds of people reported injured in different parts of Pakistan.
Hundreds of people raced from buildings onto the streets in different cities while the quake was also felt in the Kashmir region.
The earthquake was said to be one of the most powerful ever record in Pakistan’s history.
The US Geological Survey put the epicentre near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kilometres.
The Met Office in Pakistan said the magnitude was 8.1 on the Richter scale.
The epicentre is just a few hundred kilometres from the site of a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million more.