A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was felt in several cities and northern parts of Pakistan on Tuesday afternoon, September 24. The cities that were severely jolted include Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore.
LIVE: A strong 5.8 magnitude #earthquake jolted several cities and northern parts of Pakistan. #Mirpur, #AzadKashmir is the region most affected by the 5.8 magnitude quake.
Posted by Indus News on Tuesday, September 24, 2019
The tremors lasted for almost 10 seconds but were felt strongly, in many parts of the country. Other cities where the tremors were felt included Sialkot, Sargodha, Mansehra, Gujrat, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Bajaur, Swat, Sahiwal, Rahim Yar Khan and Mirpur. Several people have been reportedly injured and roads have been damaged in Mirpur district of Azad Kashmir. There are also reports of walls collapsing in the area.
According to Najeeb Ahmed, a deputy director at Pakistan Meteorological Department’s earthquake centre, the earthquake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale and was at a depth of 10 kilometres. People across the country ran out of buildings, houses and offices in a state of despair.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has been severely hit by an earthquake. Active faults and their resultant earthquakes in northern Pakistan and adjacent parts of India and Afghanistan are the direct result of convergence between the South Asian and Eurasia plates.
This collision causes an uplift that produces the highest mountain peaks in the world like the Himalayas, the Karakoram, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush ranges.
Pakistan is located in the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone, which is roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults.
Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Bihar, the 1905 7.5 magnitude Kangra and the 2005 7.6 magnitude Kashmir earthquakes.
The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on Aug 15, 1950, in Assam, eastern India. This 8.6 magnitude right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.
Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the South Asian plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range.
Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes.
The May 30,1935, 7.6 magnitude Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.