Strong earthquake shakes Kashmir after hitting Tajikistan

A strong earthquake rocked Jammu and Kashmir overnight as people ran out of their homes to escape being trapped with reports of several structures developing cracks due to the temblor.

Authorities have so far not reported any casualty due to the strong earthquake that shook the Valley causing fear and panic.

There are reports of widespread panic caused by the earthquake with locals at many places in the Valley spending a sleepless night fearing after shocks.

Officials of the disaster management authority said, “A strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale occurred in J&K at 10.34 p.m. on Friday.

“The epicentre of the earthquake was in Tajikistan with its latitude 31.57 degrees north and longitude 75.09 degrees east. It occurred 10 Kilometres inside the earth’s crust.

Earthquakes measuring 6 to 6.9 on the Richter scale are seismologically classified as of ‘strong’ magnitude.

Kashmir has a history of devastations caused by earthquakes because the Valley is situated in a highly earthquake prone region.

Over 80,000 people were killed on two sides of the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir by an earthquake that occurred on October 8, 2005 with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale.

The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences said on Friday that an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale hit Tajikistan, the tremors of which were also felt in Delhi and other parts of north India.

The earthquake struck the Central Asian country at 10:31 p.m.on Friday.The tremors were felt for more than 30 seconds in the national capital and its surrounding regions.

Notably, the Ministry of Earth Sciences changed the data twice prior to mentioning Tajikistan as the epicentre.Minutes after the tremors were felt in India, the NCS showed the magnitude to be 7.5 and its epicentre 35 km from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pursuant to this, the NCS website changed it to 6.1 magnitude, 18 km from Amritsar district in Punjab.Finally, the ministry clarified that the actual epicentre was in Tajikistan.

Contrary to India’s data, the United States Geological Survey, the scientific agency of the US government, showed that the earthquake was of 5.9 magnitude and hit 35 km west of Murghob in Tajikistan.

Currently, the hashtag #earthquake is trending on Twitter in India with scores of people taking to the microblogging site to upload videos of their ceiling fans moving frantically.

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