5.9-magnitude quake jolts parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said the earthquake magnitude was 5.9, with its epicentre in the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border region.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 08, 2016, 19:23 PM IST

Islamabad: A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale on Friday jolted parts of Pakistan, including capital Islamabad, but there was no report of any casualty so far.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said the earthquake magnitude was 5.9, with its epicentre in the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border region. This is the third quake reported to hit the northern areas since beginning of 2016.

The tremor was also felt in Peshawar Malakand, Mansehra, Haripur, Swat, Dir and Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the northwest.

These areas are still reeling from a strong 7.5 magnitude quake which struck in October 2015, killing over 300 people in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Shangla, Chitral, Swat and Dir were among the worst-hit places in the region.

Fear and panic spread among citizens, who left their homes and workplaces and ran onto the streets. No casualties have been reported as yet.

However, the United States Geological Survey reported it was 5.0 magnitude earthquake with its origin to the Jarm area of Afghanistan.

Pakistan is located in the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone, which is roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin.

This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults.

The PMD recorded about 851 seismic disturbances in 2015.