Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Tremors were felt in the national capital and other parts of north India on Tuesday when a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck a remote mountainous part of southwestern Pakistan.
The quake struck at 4:29 pm local time (1129 GMT) around 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Balochistan province, at a depth of 15 kilometres.
The US Geological Survey originally gave the earthquake a 7.4 strength at 29 kilometres but later revised their figure. Pakistan`s meteorological office gave the magnitude as 7.7.
At least 80 people were killed and scores of mud houses have been destroyed in a thinly-populated area, officials and residents said.
A “RED” alert has been issued by the USGS, which means estimated fatalities of more than 1,000 and damages costing over USD 1 billion.
Pakistan`s Geo TV said the earthquake lasted for about a minute. The tremors were felt as far as India`s national capital and other parts of north India at around 5:05 pm local time. According to a news agency, strong tremors shook tall buildings in New Delhi, sending people running into the streets.
Meanwhile, office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan also ran out of buildings and into the street.
The massive tremor was also recorded in Srinagar although no loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Jammu and Kashmir.
The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters (yards) off Pakistan`s Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea.
Television channels showed images of a stretch of rocky terrain rising above the sea level, with a crowd of bewildered people gathering on the shore to witness the rare phenomenon.
In April, a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Balochistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border.