Washington DC, 23 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) has expressed its condolences following the news of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that has affected Afghanistan and Pakistan.

To mention, reports of casualties have been received from both countries. In response, the US State Bureau is in touch with its emergency response partners and stands ready to provide any necessary assistance to the affected countries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan during this difficult time,” said a Spokesperson for the US State Bureau.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in touch with our partners to offer any support that may be needed.”

Massive earthquake jolts across Pakistan

On Tuesday, 21 March 2023, at least 9 people were killed and 150 others injured as a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan. The quake’s epicenter was the Hindu Kush region, as reported by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed that the earthquake also affected Afghanistan and parts of India, including the capital New Delhi.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority reported that two people died, and six others were injured due to incidents of roof, wall, and house collapses.

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Additionally, eight homes were partially damaged in the province. However, according to Swat District Police Officer, Shafiullah Gandapur, two people died in the district, while 100 were injured and moved to Saidu Teaching Hospital for treatment.

The tremors were felt in several parts of Pakistan, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, South Waziristan & other areas of the country, as stated by PMD DG, Mahr Sahibzad Khan on Radio Pakistan.

Pakistan Earthquake Zone Map Green (Moderate to No damage), Blue (Minor to Moderate Damage), Orange (Moderate to Severe Damage), Red (Severe Damage)

Following the earthquake, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other institutions to remain prepared to deal with any emergency.

Also, the Ministry of National Health Services issued a high alert to major government hospitals in Islamabad, as directed by Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, to ensure that all necessary arrangements are made.

The earthquake lasted for at least 30 seconds, as reported by witnesses across the country, causing people to run out of their houses and recite the Quran.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan is located in a seismically active region, with a tectonic plate known as the Indian plate pushing north into the Eurasian plate.

In the past, the country has been hit by several major earthquakes, including a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2005 that killed over 100,000 people, including men, women, and children.

Therefore, politicians and political parties reacted to the news and prayed for the safety and protection of the citizens of Pakistan.