TEHRAN/ISLAMABAD, (Xinhua): A major earthquake on Tuesday jolted Iran-Pakistan border region, killing at least 47 so far, and strong tremors were also felt in parts of northern India.
Iran’s ISNA news agency described the quake, measured at least magnitude 7.7 by the China Earthquake Networks Center, as the strongest quake in more than 50 years. State-run Press TV called it a “massive quake.”
The U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 7.8 and at a depth of 15.2 kilometers.
So far, at least 40 were killed in Iran and 7 in the disaster-hit areas in Pakistan.
It was the second massive earthquake to hit Iran in less than a week after a 6.1-quake struck near Bushehr, on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, killing at least 37 people.
In Pakistan, local Urdu TV channel Dunya News said several others were injured when some houses collapsed in Mash Khel area of Panjgur, a district located at some 517 km southwest of Quetta of the country’s southwest Balochistan province.
The injured were sent to hospitals, and some of them were reported to be in critical condition.
Meanwhile in the country’s southern port city of Karachi, two buildings were partially destroyed due to strong tremors, injuring at least five people.
Arif Mahmood, Director General of Pakistan Meteorological Office, said the tremors were felt for about 20 to 25 seconds in the country, adding that the earthquake is likely to be followed by aftershocks.
Flight operations were suspended at Karachi airport and people were evacuated.
Meanwhile, strong tremors also shook parts of northern India, including the capital New Delhi when the major quake came, an Indian government official said, adding that the tremors lasted up to one minute.
Local TV channels beamed footage of panicky people swarming out of their homes and offices to the streets in the capital city.
However, there have been no reports of any casualties or damages, the official said, adding that the authorities would soon release an assessment.
In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 quake that flattened the southeastern Iranian city of Bam.