By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A powerful earthquake rattled Pakistan’s capital and other cities on Sunday, killing one person in the northwest and wounding 30 others, officials said.
Pakistani official Arif Ullah told The Associated Press that the magnitude-7.1 quake was centered near neighboring Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan. Germany’s GFZ Research Center for Geosciences set the quake’s magnitude at 6.5.
Residents fled their homes and offices in the capital, Islamabad, as buildings swayed. Television footage showed people praying in public. Tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Two officials at Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said the quake toppled the walls of homes in the northwest, killing one person. They said 30 wounded people were taken to hospitals in the northwest. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
NDMA spokesman Ahmad Kamal said post-quake landslides were a potential threat, and said he had asked regional authorities to prepare for all possible contingencies.
A Pakistani student, Kiran Saeed, said she was studying at home in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, when it felt like someone shook her chair. “When I turned back, no one was there and then the walls started shaking. We came out of the home and everyone was reciting verses from the Quran,” she said.
Sahiba Bibi, an Islamabad resident, said she almost fell to the ground when the tremors began.
“I am still very terrified,” she said.
Sunday’s quake was the strongest since October, when a magnitude-7.5 earthquake damaged thousands of homes in the northwest.
Associated Press writers Nirmala George in New Delhi and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.
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