The US Geological Survey has reported that an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 has been recorded and hit the southern Asia in the late afternoon of Monday.
Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of Afghanistan, has said via Twitter that reports of injuries and damage in the north eastern part of Afghanistan are coming. Disasters authorities will hold a meeting within an hour to respond to the needs.
An orange alert was issued by the USGS on the quake. USGS said in a communiqué that major casualties are expected and the disaster is likely to spread across the region. At least 17 people have been reported dead in Afghanistan and 12 in Pakistan by the Reuters news agency. A few local news agencies have reported deaths in the dozens already.
Rare images of a few collapsed structures and buildings have been broadcasted by Afghan broadcaster Tolo TV. Teams of CNN in Indian, Pakistan and Afghanistan all felt strong and hard vibrations. The epicenter was reported to be about 45 kilometers in the south-southwest of Jarm in Afghanistan near the border of Afghanistan-Pakistan. Shaking was also felt into Tajikistan, USGS map showed.
The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of about 215 kilometers. A magnitude of 7.7 was initially reported by the USGS which then became 7.5 after revision.
Sophia Saifi, CNN correspondent, in Islamabad reported that her microwave fell when she was standing in her kitchen. She finally ran out of her house after feeling shakes. After a few minutes, she still felt the ground trembling as she was standing outside the house. Shakes at sporadic intervals were felt for some time.
However, people stayed calm busy making phone calls while their kids were still playing in the streets. And no damages were noticed by Saifi.
Saifi added, no casualties were reported in Quetta, found near the border with Afghanistan, and few structural damages were seen. A military spokesman said via Twitter, Pakistan’s military was ready and on guard without the need for formal orders.
After recent heavy rain falls in Northern Pakistan, there are fears for landslides after the quake. A landslide was reported in the Hunza Valley near that region at a mountain glacier. Images and photos are going viral on social media websites.
CNN team in New Delhi, India also felt tremors as CNN chief, Ravi Agarwal, reported. A fair bit of vibrations was felt, tables were shaking as well as TVs, he added.
Agarwal said the last earthquake that hit badly was the Nepal earthquakes.
Moreover, the government of India has expressed its willingness to help. The president of India, Narendra Modi, said urgent assessment has already been asked for and assistance is ready where required for both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Additionally, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, was also hit by the earthquake where tremors were felt all the way. Edil Baisalov, Kyrgyz political activist, told the CNN team that the shakes were not unusual for them. However, they were quite long and no damage has been reported so far.