By Paul Tait
KABUL, April 10 – An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck South Asia on Sunday, shaking buildings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, witnesses and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, although there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The USGS said the quake was centred near Chitral in remote northwestern Pakistan, close to the Afghan border, at a depth of 210 km (130 miles).
Residents left their homes in Kabul and Islamabad when the quake struck, with buildings swaying for well over a minute in both capitals. Similar reports were received from across northern and central Pakistan.
People in the Pakistani city of Lahore, 630 km from the epicentre, also reported they had felt the tremors.
A Reuters witness in Chitral said the tremor was strong but there was no major damage visible.
A 7.5-magnitude quake struck the area on Oct. 26 last year, killing more than 300 people and destroying thousands of homes.
In Kabul, Omar Mohammadi, a spokesman for the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, said officials were collecting information but no reports of casualties or damage had been received so far.
Tremors were also felt in the Indian capital and in Kashmir, witnesses said, with some people working in high-rise buildings in the Indian capital rushing into the streets. The Delhi underground system was also halted briefly, commuters told the NDTV channel.
The Hindu Kush area bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan is a seismically active area, with quakes often felt across the region. Just over a decade ago, a 7.6-magnitude quake in another part of northern Pakistan killed about 75,000 people.