- 2 women die of cardiac failure in Valley, 11 injured; govt assessing damage to property
SRINAGAR: A 7.7 intensity earthquake, stronger than the one that created havoc in 2005, rattled the state on Monday. Two women died of cardiac arrest, possibly caused by the panic, in the Valley, while a teenager died in Jammu. The damage to the property, believed to widespread, is being assessed by the government.
The intense tremor struck at 2.40 pm and lasted nearly a minute, sending people running out of their homes and offices. At many places, people abandoned their vehicles on roads and ran to safer places, which later caused a massive traffic jam in several parts of Srinagar city.
Many people took their children off beds at GB Pant Hospital and ran out of the building. Patients and attendants in SMHS Hospital, SKIMS (Soura) and Bone and Joint Hospital also walked out of the buildings for safety.
Telecommunication services got snapped but were restored quickly. The earthquake, which occurred at the depth of 190 kms, caused cracks in scores of government and residential buildings. The gate of the Kashmir high court building was damaged due to the rush of the panic-stricken people. The existing crack in the GB Pant Hospital widened after the quake.
The qubbah (the metallic structure atop the spire) on the shrines of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and Khanka Faiz Panah in Tral tilted due to the impact of the quake.
The information department said in a press release that houses were damaged in Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Anantnag, and Shopian, but it did not say how many. Houses suffered damages in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu.
Civil secretariat Srinagar closed an hour earlier after the earthquake. Ministers, bureaucrats and the staff immediately left the secretariat building for safety. Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was attending at the time of the quake, was taken to a safer place by officers.
Eleven people were also injured in the tremor, two of them soldiers who were wounded when their bunker collapsed at Sopore.
The dead have been identified as Fata wife of Abdul Rashid Dand of Ahangar Mohalla Bijbehara; Zoona Begam wife of Gulam Ahmad Najar of Mirsahib Mohallah in old Baramulla town and Mohammad Ashraf (16) son of Ahmed Din from Jammu region.
Medical Superintendent Bone and Joint Hospital Dr Shabir Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that six people with minor injuries have been received by the hospital so far, two of them secretariat employees. Among the injured is a girl student of Women’s College Srinagar who had jumped off a hostel window.
Kashmir region, which is placed in the high seismic Zone V, was struck by a 7.5 magnitude quake in 2005, which killed more than 80,000 people in Pakistan administered Kashmir and parts of Pakistan.