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4.7 earthquake jolts KP, 57 injured

Earth-quake in Sindh

PESHAWAR: Scores of students were injured in a school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Battagram district as a 4.7 magnitude earthquake jolted parts of the province on Monday.

No loss of life or property was reported after the quake rocked various KP districts, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PMDA) said.

However, at least 57 students were injured when panic ensued in classrooms on the third floor of a school in Battagram. The students were shifted to a local hospital.

Three of these students are in a critical condition, the deputy commissioner’s office said.

The 4.7 magnitude occurred at a depth of 37.2 kilometres, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

In October last year a 7.5-magnitude quake ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing almost 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

Pakistan is located in the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone, which is roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin.

This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the South Asian plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range.

Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes.

“[Our country is located] on an earthquake-prone belt, but this does not mean that things are dangerous for Pakistan all the time,” Director General Met Dr Ghulam Rasul, the country’s top meteorologist, said earlier in January.

Small and frequent tremors are far less dangerous, he said, as they help dissipate seismic energy which, if stored up for too long, manifests itself in the shape of massive quakes that can cause widespread damage.

The PMD recorded about 851 seismic disturbances in 2015.

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