Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hits Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India.
An earthquake jolted Pakistan and neighboring countries on Tuesday leading to evacuations in high-rise cities like Karachi that gnarled traffic, and impromptu prayers at mosques.
Tehran-based PressTV reports at least 40 people are feared dead and over 850 injured in Iran so far. An Iranian official told Reuters he fears the death toll will be in the “hundreds.” The news agency also cited a source as saying that the Bushehr nuclear facility remains unharmed. Iran’s Red Crescent chief said rescue and recovery efforts are underway.
According to reports on Pakistani cable news channels, the earthquake led to evacuations in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and a rise in cellphone activity that temporarily choked bandwidth as people called and texted their families to check in with them. Casualties are also being reported in Balochistan’s Panjgur and Washuk districts, with at least 12 dead and dozens injured.
In New Delhi and Dubai, high-rise buildings were likewise evacuated. Tremors were also felt in Afghanistan.
Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, the epicenter of the earthquake—which struck at 3:44 p.m. (Pakistan time) and lasted some 13 seconds—was 86 kilometers from the Iranian city of Khash, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The seismic activity occurred 15.2 kilometers below ground.