SRINAGAR, July 12: An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale shook north India including Kashmir on Thursday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to property.
Kashmir’s head of disaster management cell Amir Ali said that epicentre of the earthquake was the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan. “Earthquake of magnitude 6.3 occured in Hindukush Afghanistan at around 7.30pm. Coordinates 36.5N, 70.9E,” he said.
Besides Kashmir, the tremors were felt in Pakistan as well.
There has been a heightened seismic activity in the past week in north of Indian subcontinent in the Himalayan mountain stretch extending to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On Thursday, an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted parts of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces of Pakistan. The quake,however, caused no damage to life and property.
On Oct 8, 2005 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale had devastated many parts of Kashmir on both the sides of Line of Control killing over 75,000 people most of them in Pakistan administered Kashmir. Over 1400 people had lost their lives in Uri and other northern parts of Indian administered Kashmir.
Geologically, Kashmir valley is part of the bigger Himalayan zone which falls on the restive fault line of Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. Most of the valley is vulnerable to earthquakes of very high intensity (seismic zone four and five) with the risk of extensive damage to life and property.
Last year, Roger Bilham- a professor of geological sciences in the University of Colorado- warned of a ‘possible earthquake of magnitude 9 in the valley’ triggering fears of a nightmare scenario among the locals.