By Neha Arora
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Strong tremors were felt in northern India and Pakistan on Friday and many residents ran out of their homes, witnesses said.
The U.S Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9 and centred 35 km (55 miles) west of Tajikistan in central Asia.
Cracks were reported in some homes in northern Kashmir, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A witness also reported a wall collapse near the northern Indian city of Amritsar, but there were no reports of casualties.
G. Suresh, a senior scientist at the IMD, told Reuters there were two earthquakes within 10 minutes in Tajikistan and Sichuan, China. An Indian government monitor had earlier said the quake was centred near Amritsar.
“The seismic waves have been mixed up in data monitoring,” he said.
Tremors were felt across Pakistan including the capital, Islamabad, and northwestern Peshawar, and even as far as the eastern city of Lahore, which borders India.
In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, where a 2005 earthquake wreaked serious destruction, there was mass panic, according to witnesses and many rushed out of their homes in fear.
“I thought it’s the same like what had hit us in 2005. My children started crying,” said Asif Maqbool, a resident in Madina Market, a neighbourhood of Muzaffarabad that was almost flattened in the 2005 quake.
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