A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted several cities and northern parts of the country on Tuesday afternoon, leaving at least 19 people dead and over 100 others injured, officials said.
The tremors lasted for 8-10 seconds and were felt strongly,
The cities where the tremors were felt included Islamabad, Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sialkot, Sargodha, Mansehra, Gujrat, Chitral, Malakand, Multan, Shangla, Bajaur, Swat, Sahiwal and Rahim Yar Khan.
Minister state for disaster management Hafiz Raza Qadri, said, at least 19 people, three of them young children, were reported to have died and more than 300 others wounded due to the quake in Mirpur. Two of the victims were brought dead and the rest succumbed to their injuries in Divisional Headquarters Hospital Mirpur, he added.
He said, Army troops also reached the affected area and injured are being shifted to the hospitals.
AJK Minister for Sports, Youth and Culture Chaudhry Mohammad Saeed told The Northern Post that at least two people have died and more than 100 wounded in different parts of Mirpur district due to the quake.
He said an emergency has been declared at state-owned hospitals in the town.
Occurring just after 4pm, the shallow quake hit 22.3 kilometres north of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab and Azad Kashmir, according to the US Geological Survey.
“The quake was 10 kilometres deep and was felt in most of Punjab province, some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The worst hit was Mirpur, Azad Kashmir,” chief meteorologist Muhammad Riaz told AFP.
Witnesses Sajjad Jarral and Qazi Tahir told AFP at least 50 people were injured by the quake that caused a building to collapse in Mirpur and inflicted heavy damage on at least one road. There are also reports of walls collapsing in the area.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves.