The location was a sparsely populated area 420 km east of Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe
People across North India felt strong tremors as an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale struck near Tajikistan, according to India’s National Center for Seismology. People rushed out of their homes in Kashmir and Punjab and in other parts of north India, fearing the intensity of the tremors. Tremors were also felt across Pakistan’s Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar.
Initially, the seismology department erroneously had said that the epicentre was Punjab’s Amritsar, citing the depth of the earthquake at 19km. The national seismology department then confirmed that the earthquake was centred at Tajikistan in central Asia.
“The epicentre is in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region where the Indo Australian plate is colliding with the Eurasian plate. It’s a seismically highly active area. The tremors have been felt across Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi NCR. However, we haven’t received any reports of damage yet,” said JL Gautam, head of operations, National Centre for Seismology (NCS) told Hindustan Times.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh also tweeted expressing concerns after reports of people rushing outside their houses due to the quakes were reported across Twitter.
The United States Geological Survey said that the earthquake’s magnitude was 5.9 and centred 35 km west of Murghob in Tajikistan, Central Asia, according to news agency Reuters. The location was a sparsely populated area 420 km east of Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, said Tajikistan Emergency Situations Ministry on Friday.
AP Pandey, a seismologist at the National Centre for Seismology, told Hindustan Times that the earthquake which happened in the Himalayan region was strong enough as its tremors were felt throughout the several north Indian states. He said, “As we know the Indian and the Eurasian plates are colliding, so the Himalayas are always active. This event happened towards the Eurasian plate but it was a very strong earthquake, so the energy was felt here also. Smaller aftershocks are possible but the source is very far. So it’s unlikely to impact us.”