ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Monday directed military for immediate relief and rescue efforts as a major earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter Scale caused widespread damages.
“Army troops directed to carry out immediate rescue work in any affected areas without waiting for formal orders,” Director General ISPR, Lt General Asim Salim Bajwa said on Twitter.
The army spokesman said General Raheel Sharif presided over a snap conference following the earthquake and directed army teams for quick assessment of earthquake damages across country, especially in remote areas.
He said army teams have been dispatched to affected areas. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also directed all federal civil, military and provincial agencies to declare immediate alert and kick off relief and rescue activities.
The powerful quake struck Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region Monday and was felt throughout much of South Asia. The US Geological Survey put the epicentre near Jarm in Afghanistan’s northeast, 250 kilometres (160 miles) from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 km.
The quake, which lasted at least one minute, shook buildings in Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi, sending people rushing into the streets. In Pakistan, the tremors were felt in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Quetta, Peshawar, Swabi Kohat, Abbottabad, Swat, Malakand and other cities and towns of the country.