(K2Climb.net) A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan last night. It is the strongest tremor to strike the area since the original October 8th quake (measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale), which destroyed large areas of Pakistan and Kashmir. The epicenter of yesterdays tremor was located on the Afghan side of Hindu-Kush, a scarcely populated area; however, the earth shook places as far away as Delhi and Islamabad. Until now, only four wounded have been reported. News from more isolated areas may take longer to reach the media.
Waiting for news from aid teams
Areas in Kashmir and Northern Pakistan, already devastated by the October quake, may well have been affected again. The Pakistani media has reported landslides in mountain regions.
There is no news yet from TNF aid team, currently in Indian Kashmir. German Alpinclub Sachsen home team is trying to get in touch with Jen Sommerfeld, leader of the third team theyve sent to Bashek, in Northern Pakistan.
Panic in affected towns
The tremor caused panic in the flattened cities of Balakot and Muzaffarabad, where people ran from the few houses still standing and tents provided by relief organizations. "People came out of their tents and started screaming and reciting verses from the Koran," a resident, told the AFP news agency. "The people living in buildings spared by the big quake were the most terrified."
Yesterdays quake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, was centered about 105km (65 miles) southeast of Faizabad in Afghanistan's Badakhshan province. The epicenter was 230 kilometers below the surface. "The deeper an earthquake is the less likely it is to cause damage. This quake... is not likely to cause too much damage although it is possible," a spokesperson from US Geological Survey (USGS) told Reuters.
Since the October 8th 7.6 earthquake, which caused circa 73,000 dead and left 3 million people homeless, the region has been struck by hundreds of aftershocks. However, none have been as strong as yesterdays.
This area stretching across Pakistan into India and Afghanistan sees a lot of seismic activity - it is at the point where the tectonic plates of Asia and Indian subcontinent collide.
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