AKIPRESS.COM - At least 19 people have been killed and 300 injured after a shallow earthquake struck north-eastern Pakistan, tearing car-sized cracks into roads and heavily damaging infrastructure, Guardian reports.
The quake sent people in Lahore and Islamabad running into the streets. With rescue operations expected to continue overnight, residents in the worst-hit areas described their horror as walls collapsed and houses fell.
The epicentre of the 5.2-magnitude quake was near the city of Mirpur, 22 kilometres (14 miles) north of the city of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US geological agency, USGS, said.
The larger Kashmir region is a disputed and troubled territory with separate Indian and Pakistani regions. Mirpur is in the Pakistani-administered region, which is nominally self-governing.
On one of the district’s two main roads, AFP reporters could see cracks at least four feet (1.2 metres) deep, some filling with water from a nearby canal. Television images showed cars wedged in to some cracks, while a bus and a truck lay by the side of the road.
In the village of Sahankikri, on the outskirts of Mirpur, residents said almost all the 400 houses were damaged.