Deadly 7.5 magnitude quake rocks South Asia

26 October 2015
Deadly 7.5 magnitude quake rocks South Asia
People injured in 7.7 magnitude earthquake receive medical treatment outside a hospital in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 26 October 2015. Photo: Sultan Dogar/EPA

A powerful 7.5 magnitude quake struck Afghanistan's Hindu Kush region Monday and was felt throughout much of South Asia, killing at least 17 and injuring more than 100 people in neighbouring Pakistan, according to local officials.
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 km.
The epicentre is close to the site of an October 2005 quake which had a 7.6 magnitude quake and killed more than 75,000 people, displacing some 3.5 million more, although that quake was much shallower.
Monday's quake, which lasted at least one minute, shook buildings in Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi and sent people rushing into the streets.
Arbab Muhammad Asim, district mayor for Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, said at least one woman had been killed and more than 100 people injured, adding: "Many houses and buildings have collapsed in the city."
Dr Muhammad Sadiq, the head of emergency services at a government hospital in Peshawar, confirmed the number of injuries.
"Many more injured are still coming to hospital. Many are still under rubble," Sadiq told AFP.
Afghanistan's CEO Abdullah Abdullah said reports of damage and injuries were coming in from Afghanistan's northeast.
"Disasters authorities to meet within the hour and respond to the needs," he tweeted.
Traffic came to a stop in downtown Kabul, with people getting out of their cars as they waited for the quake to pass.
As buildings shook throughout north India, hundreds of people poured onto the streets from office blocks, hospitals and and homes, AFP reporters and TV footage showed.
Delhi's metro ground to a halt during the tremor although the airport continued operating.
"All of around 190 trains plying on the tracks were stopped at the time of the earthquake. The lines and the trains are now being restored after basic inspection of respective lines," Anuj Dayal, Delhi Metro spokesman told AFP.
Cell phone networks were down in the Kashmir region where panicked residents also evacuated buildings and school children were seen huddling together outside their school in the main city of Srinagar.
"Some bridges and buldings got damaged. There are no reports of loss of life so far. Cell phone networks are down, we are using our wireless network to gather information," inspector general of police for the Kashmir region, Javid Gillani, told AFP from the police control room.
Many buildings were badly damaged during massive floods a year ago, heightening the danger that they would have collapsed during the quake.