7.7 magnitude earthquake rocks South Asia, epicentre in Afghanistan

A massive earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale today jolted north India, with panic-stricken people rushing out of houses and buildings that shook during the temblor lasting almost a minute. According to reports, four people have been killed in northwestern Pakistan. Pakistani rescue officials say a powerful earthquake struck neighboring Afghanistan shaking the capital Kabul and killing at least 24 people while 76 were killed in neighbouring Pakistan.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and occurred at a depth of 212 kilometers (130 miles) with its epicentre in the Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan. It struck at around 2.40 PM, sending ripples across several states like Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, the National Capital Region (NCR), Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

The NDRF has been put on alert and 24 battalions are ready for deployment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern and said India was ready to provide any assistance required. Pakistan’s military has been activated without waiting for formal orders.

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What is an Epicentre?

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Answer – The point on the earth’s surface vertically above the focus of an earthquake.