5.3 magnitude quake hits Balochistan


QUETTA: A 5.3 magnitude earthquake followed by stronger aftershocks was felt in various parts of Balochistan on Friday afternoon, leaving residents panicked and afraid.

Tremors were felt in Quetta, Chaman, Killa Abdullah and Pishin. No loss of life or property was reported.

The first earthquake recorded at a focal depth of 10 kilometres struck at 11:59am, followed by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake with a focal depth of 49km. The epicentre of both quakes was Chaman.

“[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 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.

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.

The PMD recorded about 851 seismic disturbances in 2015.

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