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Scary quake may have been felt by millions in Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan

Fri, 12 Feb 2021, 21:05
21:05 PM | BY: T
Location of user reports of the 12 Feb 2021 mag 5.8 Tajikistan quake
Location of user reports of the 12 Feb 2021 mag 5.8 Tajikistan quake
Millions of people in the northern parts of India and Pakistan were awoken by a very noticeable earthquake on Friday evening (February 12, 2021).
The earthquakes epicenter was actually in nearby Tajikistan, yet this relatively deep earthquake at an intermediate 86 km below the surface caused it to be felt as far as New Delhi in India, over 1100 km away, and even further than Bhopal in Central India, some 1600 km away. Both the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir got shaken significantly, with a huge number of comments coming in to VolcanoDiscovery describing the shaking and panic of people fleeing outdoors.
People from Indian cities such as Amritsar, Bathinda, Chandigarh, Gujrat, Gurdaspur, Jaipur, Jammu, Noida, Sopore and Srinagar all reported shaking. Near the city of Mirpur 550 km away from the epicenter, one report wrote " The ground shook side to side then up and down. I ran downstairs with my heart pumping. I took my mother and grandma outside. Very scary. May God have mercy."

Pakistan also felt major shaking with reports coming in from Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi. A report from Lahore wrote "The bed shook violently for at least 10 seconds. At first, I just freaked out and could not figure out the reason for the shaking but became sure that it was an earthquake after my mother came running out of her room, awakened from sleep." A family from Faisalabad even sent in their photo waiting outdoors in the open for possible aftershocks.

Many locations reported objects falling from shelves, beds shaking for as much as 15 seconds, lamps and fans swaying, creaking walls, agitated animals, birds flying from trees or chirping, sounds like thunder, and even people shouting "earthquake". Many thousands ran outdoors, and this could have been in the hundreds of thousands, as the quake was also felt in countries that have poor connectivity to report, with a handful of reports of shaking from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Weak shaking was also felt in Dushanbe and Khujand in Tajikistan, and moderate shaking was felt in Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second largest city 280 km from the epicenter. While we received no reports from China, the proximity of Xinjiang, the Uygur autonomous region in China relatively close to the epicenter, means that it was almost certainly felt there as well. No immediate aftershocks were reported by seismological agencies in few hours after the quake.

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