7.1-magnitude quake jolts northern Pakistan

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At least three killed in quake-hit areas, according to local authorities

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan – A 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook northern parts of Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least three people and sowing panic among residents in quake-hit areas, officials and local media reported.

The earthquake struck at about 3:30pm local time, sending panicked residents into the streets of capital Islamabad and in Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Gilgit, Kohistan and Mardan, among other parts of the country.

According to Pakistan’s official meteorological agency, the quake’s epicenter was some 236 kilometers underground in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region.

Twenty-seven injured people were admitted to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, hospital spokesman Dr. Khalid Masood told reporters.

The casualties were reported from the already-rain-hit Gilgit and Kohistan districts, where tremors caused landslides, blocking a number of roads.

Within the last two weeks, more than 200 people have been killed in Pakistan by heavy rainfall and flooding.

Sunday’s tremors were also felt in Kabul, New Delhi and Indian-held Kashmir.

In Pakistan, where tremors continued for at least 10 seconds, local television channels broadcast footage of terrified residents — including many women and children — rushing out of their homes in quake-hit parts of the country.

The meteorological agency, meanwhile, has forecast additional aftershocks in coming days.

Pakistan is located on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate, which is known for high levels of seismic activity.

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