NEW DELHI: Strong tremors were felt in northern India and Pakistan on Friday as a result of an earthquake in Tajikistan, witnesses said. Many residents ran out of their homes, but no major damage was reported.
The US Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 and centered 35 km (55 miles) west of Murghob in Tajikistan, central Asia.
The Tajikistan Emergency Situations Ministry said the epicenter was 420 km (260 miles) east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe near the border with China.
Tremors were felt in Dushanbe but the epicenter was in a sparsely populated area.
Cracks were reported in some homes in northern Kashmir, the Indian Meteorological Department said. A witness also reported a wall collapse near the northern Indian city of Amritsar, but there were no reports of casualties.
A resident in Indian-administered Kashmir's Baramulla district said it felt like a strong wind had lashed his house. "My whole house shook and cracks appeared in a corner of one of the rooms," Firdous Ahmad Khan said.
Tremors were felt across Pakistan including the capital, Islamabad, and northwestern Peshawar, and even as far as the eastern city of Lahore, which borders India.
In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, where a 2005 earthquake wreaked serious destruction, there was panic, according to witnesses, and many people rushed out of their homes in fear.
"I thought it's the same like what had hit us in 2005. My children started crying," said Asif Maqbool, a resident in Madina Market, a neighborhood of Muzaffarabad that was almost flattened in the 2005 quake.
Saima Khalid, a resident of the Khawaja Muhalla district of Muzaffarabad, said everyone in the neighborhood came out onto the streets.
"They were crying, reciting verses from the Holy Quran," she said.