Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Pakistan: Islamabad: Yes, the House is Shaking

Press Account:

Earthquake rattles Pakistan capital

A strong earthquake jolted the Pakistan capital, shaking homes and rattling people awake, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The temblor struck just before 2.30am Tuesday (0730 AEST), as most people were sleeping, and lasted for several seconds.

Amir Shahzad Warsi, an official at the government Meteorological Department in the capital, Islamabad, said the quake was "intense" but that its exact magnitude would not be known for some time.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude 6.5 and its epicentre was 282 kilometres north-east of Kabul, Afghanistan.

A pair of magnitude-five earthquakes struck northwestern Pakistan on March 10 and February 22, but caused no injuries.

A magnitude 5.7 quake and nearly equally strong aftershock struck roughly the same region on February 13, killing at least 24 people, triggering landslides and demolishing hundreds of homes.

All of the recent quakes were centred in or around the Hindu Kush mountains near the border with Afghanistan, a region that sees frequent seismic activity.

Many of the villages in the region are remote, and assessing the damage can take time, sometimes even several days.

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