At least 60 people were killed and over 400 injured in Pakistan on Monday when a major earthquake of 7.5 intensity with its epicentre in Afghanistan hit parts of the country, media reports said.
The Pakistan Army has been put on alert.
The quake was felt in most of the northern parts of Pakistan including such major cities as Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha, Quetta and Multan, officials said.
At least 18 people were killed in Peshawar city, according to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani, reported Dawn, while over 100 injured admitted to the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.
Elsewhere in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa, three people were killed in Mansehra, two in Charsadda, and 13 people were killed in Chitral, which fell closest to the quake’s epicentre. Eight people, including four children, were killed in the Bajaur tribal region near the Afghanistan border after buildings collapsed in the area, it said.
Eight people were killed in Swat Valley, while nearly 200 injured were brought to Swat’s Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital.
In Punjab, a child was killed in Kallar Kahar area of Chakwal district and one in Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazar area, one woman was killed in Sargodha and 10 others injured in a wall collapse and one in Kasur district when a house roof collapsed.
One death was reported from Mirpur in Pakistani Kashmir and three in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dunya News TV reported that a part of Bala Hissar fort in Peshawar had been damaged.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khatak declared an emergency in all hospitals, an official statement said.
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said troops had been directed “to carry out immediate rescue work in any affected areas without waiting for formal orders”.
Army teams had been sent out for a quick assessment of earthquake damages across the country, he said in a series of tweets.
The official added that all command military hospitals had been put on high alert, and helicopters and earthquake rescue machinery were on standby.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed all federal, civil, military and provincial agencies to declare an immediate alert and mobilise all resources to ensure the security of citizens of Pakistan. All agencies have been directed to move out with their resources.
President Mamnoon Hussain has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the natural calamity.