MERAJ ALAM/AGENCIES

GILGIT/PESHAWAR - At least four people were killed and nearly 100 injured in Pakistan as a result of an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude, the epicentre of which was in eastern Afghanistan.

“Two people were killed and 18 injured in Mardan, 48 were injured in Peshawar, 17 in Swat and eight in Hangu,” Latifur Rehman, spokesman for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Disaster Management authority, said.

The 6.9-strong earthquake that jolted Pakistan and Afghanistan at Friday midnight killed a pregnant woman in GB, a soldier in Mohmand Agency.

The earthquake which triggered a landslide in Gilgit-Baltistan killed the woman and seriously injured three of her family.

The earthquake struck the country at 11:16pm on Saturday night. The assistant commissioner concerned told The Nation that a pregnant woman died on the spot while the head of her family and two children were seriously injured. Meanwhile, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman directed the relevant departments and DCOs to carry out surveys to assess damages in GB. According to US Geological Survey, the epicentre of the quake was located near the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border region at the depth of 197 kilometres. Communication services were disturbed in Gilgit-Baltistan. People came out of buildings in panic, reciting verses from the Holy Quran. Rescue 1122 and Disaster Management Authority had been put on high alert in Gilgit-Baltistan, said GB Information Minister Ibrahim Sanai.

The quake jolted Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, leaving 20 persons injured and causing cracks in hundreds of houses.

The earthquake was of similar intensity that occurred on October 26, 2015, but it did not cause much damage due to its deepness.

According to the Metrological Department, the intensity of the earthquake was 6.9 on Richter scale, but on US Geological Survey, the intensity was 6.2. According to the spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, around 20 injured persons were brought to emergency ward of the hospital. Most of the injured had been brought with fractured bones.

Rescue 1122 spokesman Bilal Faizi said they handled 20 emergency cases after the earthquakes. Several houses developed cracks as a result of the powerful earthquake.

Meanwhile, the roof of an army check post collapsed due to the high-magnitude quake in the border area of Biazai tehsil of Mohmand, killing one security man and injuring another, an official said.

Assistant Political Agent Ghalanai Haseeb-ur-Rehman Khalil confirmed that army man Waqar was killed and another Nisar injured when the roof their check post collapsed due to the earthquake.

The injured were shifted to Agency Headquarters Hospital Mohmand. In addition, 25 persons were also injured in district Swat and shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Saidu Sharif.

AFP adds from Kabul: A 6.3-magnitude earthquake centred in the Hindu Kush jolted Afghanistan and Pakistan, damaging homes and leaving dozens of people injured, just two months after a killer quake rattled the same mountainous region.

The tremor late Friday hit at a depth of 203.5 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said, adding people left shaking buildings in a bitterly cold night amidst fears of aftershocks.

The epicentre of the quake, which was felt as far away as New Delhi, was in the remote Afghan province of Badakhshan, close to Pakistani and Tajik borders.

Initial information suggested at least 45 houses were damaged in Badakhshan where communication with remote, mountainous villages is typically slow. At least 12 people were injured in the Afghan province of Nangarhar.

US Geological Survey had initially reported the quake’s magnitude at 6.2.

In October, a 7.5-magnitude quake in the same region ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing nearly 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain.

For many in Pakistan, October’s quake brought back traumatic memories of a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. In Nepal, a quake in April and a strong aftershock in May killed more than 8,900 people.