A 5.5 magnitude earthquake shook several cities in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan early morning this Tuesday, stirring panic amongst the sleeping population. Tremors were felt in several cities including Lahore, Islamabad, Nowshera and Ghizer Valley. As soon as the earth shook, people came out of their houses in a bid to take shelter at safer places. The US Geological Survey has reported that the epicentre of the earthquake was located in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, at a depth of about 180 kilometres, and the magnitude was reported to be about 5.5. No loss of life or property was however reported, although the early morning shaking started people from their slumber and forced them into the streets.
A local news agency said that the quake struck at 3am in the morning. It is to be noted that on February, another strong earthquake of magnitude 6.3 had struck near the coast of Pakistan, as reported by the US Geological Survey.
5.0 magnitude earthquake jolts various cities of Pakistan, including Islamabad & Lahore; epicentre in Hindu Kush region (Afghanistan)
— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2017
Last April, a large 6.6-magnitude quake killed six after it struck neighbouring northeastern Afghanistan, rattling parts of South Asia. Pakistan is a country which is susceptible to earthquakes as it straddles part of the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Both the Hindu Kush mountain ranges, and the Himalayan ranges are hotbeds of seismic activity. On October 8, 2005, Pakistan witnessed a 7.6-magnitude quake that killed over 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Twitter erupted early morning with people sharing stories of how strongly they felt the earthquake, and praying for everyone to be safe, including this side of the border.
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) April 18, 2017
However, there was also a community of Indian Twitterati who made remarks in bad taste about the natural calamity, and it was more a source of poking fun and expressing animosity towards the country that has been at loggerheads with India for quite some time now. The earthquake could have easily caused intensive damage in the densely populated cities of the country.
#earthquake in Pakistan,no worries they are habituated to such tremors and shockwaves as their national job is making and detonating bombs.
— MODIfied Rathore (@RajuAnand11) April 18, 2017